Systematic review of behaviour change techniques to promote participation in physical activity among people with dementia

Samuel Nyman, Natalia Adamczewska, Neil Howlett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose. The objective of this study was to systematically review the evidence for the potential promise of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) to increase physical activity among people with dementia (PWD).
Methods. PsychINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Central Register of
Controlled Trials databases were searched 01/01/2000 - 01/12/2016. Randomised controlled / quasi-randomised trials were included if they recruited people diagnosed / suspected to have dementia, used at least one BCT in the intervention arm, and had at least one follow-up measure of physical activity / adherence. Studies were appraised using the Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias tool, and BCTs were coded using Michie et al.’s (2013) taxonomy.
Intervention findings were narratively synthesised as either ‘very promising’, ‘quite promising’, or ‘non-promising’, and BCTs were judged as having potential promise if they featured in at least twice as many very / quite promising than non-promising interventions (as per Gardner et al., 2016).
Results. Nineteen articles from 9 trials reported physical activity findings on behavioural outcomes (2 very promising, 1 quite promising, and 2 non-promising) or intervention adherence (1 quite promising and 4 non-promising). Thirteen BCTs were used across the interventions. While no BCT had potential promise to increase intervention adherence, three BCTs had potential promise for improving physical activity behaviour outcomes: goal setting (behaviour), social support (unspecified), and using a credible source.
Conclusions. Three BCTs have potential promise for use in future interventions to increase physical activity among PWD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-170
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date4 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • behaviour change
  • dementia
  • interventions
  • older people
  • physical activity
  • systematic review


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