How Does the Understanding, Experience, and Enactment of Self-Regulation Behaviour Change Techniques Vary with Age? A Thematic Analysis

David P. French, Rehab Banafa, Stefanie Williams, Claire Taylor, Laura J.E. Brown

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: Self-regulatory behaviour change techniques (BCTs) appear less effective in promoting physical activity amongst older than younger adults. This study aimed to identify reasons for this by examining how participants of different ages understand, experience, and use these BCTs. Methods: Twelve participants (aged 39–75) in a walking intervention study were interviewed twice: immediately post-intervention and 3 months later to examine understanding and enactment of self-regulation BCTs. Thematic analysis was used, organised using the framework approach. Results: Participants acknowledged the importance of setting realistic goals and found pedometers useful. In older adults, the use of goal setting was influenced by previous experience in work settings of this BCT. Occupational status appeared to influence the participants' responses to action planning, irrespective of age, with retired participants preferring not to restrict themselves to specific times. Self-monitoring with diaries appeared to be more useful in assisting the memory of older adults. For most BCTs, differences in understanding and enactment were apparent according to participant age. Conclusions: Problems with using self-regulation BCTs were apparent, which appeared more common with older adults. Occupational status, cognitive status, or a perceived lack of value of physical activity or of some BCTs are all promising explanations that warrant further investigation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)239-260
    Number of pages22
    JournalApplied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
    Volume13
    Issue number1
    Early online date19 Oct 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number G0701821]. Additional flexibility and sustainability funding was provided by NHS Warwickshire, and Claire Taylor was funded by a PhD studentship provided by Warwick and Coventry Primary Care Research. David French is supported by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC-1215-20007). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. The authors would like to thank the participants in this research. We would also like to acknowledge the essential role played in this research by the practice nurses and healthcare assistants, as well as the staff in the general practices in which this research was conducted.

    Funding Information:
    This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number G0701821]. Additional flexibility and sustainability funding was provided by NHS Warwickshire, and Claire Taylor was funded by a PhD studentship provided by Warwick and Coventry Primary Care Research. David French is supported by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC‐1215‐20007). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. The authors would like to thank the participants in this research. We would also like to acknowledge the essential role played in this research by the practice nurses and healthcare assistants, as well as the staff in the general practices in which this research was conducted.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2020 The Authors. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Association of Applied Psychology

    Copyright:
    Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Keywords

    • ageing
    • behaviour change
    • self-regulation
    • walking

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Applied Psychology

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