What goes on in digital behaviour change interventions for weight loss maintenance targeting physical activity: A scoping review

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  • Jorge Encantado
  • Antonio L. Palmeira
  • Carolina Silva
  • Falko F. Sniehotta
  • R. James Stubbs
  • Maria Joao Gouveia
  • Pedro J. Teixeira
  • Heitmann, Berit
  • Marta M. Marques

Objective To identify the core components of digital behaviour change interventions for weight loss maintenance targeting physical activity, in terms of: (i) behaviour change techniques, (ii) mechanisms of action, (iii) modes of delivery, (iv) dose and (v) tailoring/personalization. In addition, the links between these components were investigated. Methods A literature search was performed in five electronic databases: PubMed, Embase, CINHAL, PsycINFO and Web of Science. Two reviewers independently screened the identified articles and extracted data related with the study characteristics and behaviour change techniques, mechanism of action, mode of delivery, dose, and tailoring, using standardized classifications whenever available (e.g. behaviour change techniques taxonomy). Results Seventeen articles reporting 11 original studies were selected. Two studies were protocols, 9 studies presented results for weight change and all but one showed no significant differences between the intervention and control groups. Eight studies (73%) provided adequate information on behaviour change techniques. Five studies (45%) provided partial information about how the behaviour change techniques were linked to mechanisms of action, and only one study (0.9%) described these links for all the techniques. Around half of the studies reported the modes through which behaviour change techniques were delivered. Descriptions of dose were present in most studies, but with minimal information. The use of tailoring or personalization approaches was mentioned in eight studies (73%), but descriptions of what was tailored and how were minimal. Conclusions The compilation of information regarding intervention components was difficult due to the lack of information and systematization in reporting across papers. This is particularly true for the reporting of the links between behaviour change techniques and the other core intervention components. This information is crucial to help us understand in the context of behaviour change interventions what works or does not work, how it works and why.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Health
Number of pages12
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

    Research areas

  • Health behaviour, weight loss maintenance, physical activity, exercise, digital technology, review, OBESITY, HEALTH, TRIAL, METAANALYSIS, OVERWEIGHT, RATIONALE, DESIGN, ADULTS

ID: 328959566