Physical activity self-management interventions for adults with spinal cord injury: Part 1–A systematic review of the use and effectiveness of behavior change techniques

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Abstract

Objectives:

To determine which behavior change techniques (BCTs) have been used within leisure time physical activity (LTPA) self-management interventions for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI), and which BCTs were effective for improving LTPA behavior and/or its antecedents.

Design:

Systematic review informed by the PRISMA guidelines.

Methods:

A comprehensive literature search was conducted using five databases. Study characteristics were extracted from included articles and intervention descriptions were coded using the BCT Taxonomy V.1. Effectiveness and maintenance of BCTs as well as the level of behavior change theory use in the design of interventions were examined within experimental studies.

Results:

Thirty-one unique studies were included, 16 of which had an experimental design. Across all 31 studies, a total of 222 BCTs were identified, representing 32 out of a possible 93 BCTs. The most commonly used BCTs related to the core components of self-management (i.e., education, training/rehearsal of psychological strategies, and social support). Examination of the 16 experimental studies revealed that the use of BCTs corresponding to core self-management components were related to significant improvements and maintenance of LTPA outcomes, regardless of the number of BCTs used.

Conclusions:

This review offers a glimpse into the mechanisms by which self-management interventions lead to behavior change; however, more research is needed to explore and evaluate other elements (e.g., theory use, tailoring, dose, mode of delivery, and provider) that may comprise effective LTPA self-management interventions for persons with SCI.

PROSPERO registration number:

CRD42016037531.

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