Behavior change techniques (BCTs) are used to target theoretical mechanisms of action predicted to bring about behavior change. Reporting BCTs and connecting them to mechanisms of action is critical to understanding intervention processes of change. This article identifies the BCTs associated with an exercise intervention for individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes and determines the extent to which these BCTs target associated mechanisms of action. BCTs were mapped onto social cognitive theory (SCT) and the theoretical domains framework (TDF) using published literature identifying links between BCTs and SCT/TDF and expert consensus. Two coders then used the 93-item BCT taxonomy (BCTTv1) to independently code BCTs within the intervention. The BCTs used in the current intervention enabled identification of the theoretical mechanisms of action targeted in the intervention. More than 70% of the intervention content incorporated at least one BCT. More than 50% of the BCTs used targeted SCT constructs and more than 70% of BCTs used targeted at least one of the 14 TDF domains. Five BCTs did not map onto either SCT or TDF. This research provides a systematic method of linking BCTs to mechanisms of action. This process increases the transparency of intervention content and identification of the mechanisms of action targeted in the current intervention. Reporting interventions in this manner will enable the most potent mechanisms of actions associated with long-term behavior change to be identified and utilized in future work.
- SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences