Applying the behaviour change technique (BCT) taxonomy v1: a study of coder training

Caroline E Wood, Michelle Richardson, Marie Johnston, Charles Abraham, Jill Francis, Wendy Hardeman, Susan Michie

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Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy v1 (BCTTv1) has been used to detect active ingredients of interventions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of user training in improving reliable, valid and confident application of BCTTv1 to code BCTs in intervention descriptions. One hundred sixty-one trainees (109 in workshops and 52 in group tutorials) were trained to code frequent BCTs. The following measures were taken before and after training: (i) inter-coder agreement, (ii) trainee agreement with expert consensus, (iii) confidence ratings and (iv) coding competence. Coding was assessed for 12 BCTs (workshops) and for 17 BCTs (tutorials). Trainees completed a course evaluation. Methods improved agreement with expert consensus (p < .05) but not inter-coder agreement (p = .08, p = .57, respectively) and increased confidence for BCTs assessed (both p < .05). Methods were as effective as one another at improving coding competence (p = .55). Training was evaluated positively. The training improved agreement with expert consensus, confidence for BCTs assessed, coding competence but not inter-coder agreement. This varied according to BCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-148
Number of pages15
JournalTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date19 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

The present work was carried out as part of the Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy project funded by the Medical Research Council via its Methodology panel [G0901474/1]. We are grateful to all trainees, workshop facilitators and expert tutors who participated in the training.We are also grateful to Kate Sheals (KS), Siri Steinmo and Bianca Serwinski for their help in preparing the data for this paper and to Felicity Roberts, Elena Panagiotopoulou and Linda Duffy for their previous work on the project


  • behaviour change techniques
  • taxonomy
  • training methods


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