Susan Michie

Director of UCL Centre for Behaviour Change

Susan Michie, FMedSci, FAcSS is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London. She is co-Director of NIHR’s Behavioural Science Policy Research Unit and leads UCL’s membership of NIHR’s School of Public Health Research. Her research focuses on behaviour change: how to understand it theoretically and apply theory to complex intervention development, evaluation and implementation. Her research includes the Human Behavior Change Project and Complex Systems for Sustainability and Health. She serves as an expert advisor to Public Health England and the UK Department of Health and Social Care.


Characterising intervention content in terms of behaviour change techniques

Interventions to change behaviour have had modest and variable success.  Interventions are complex in that they are usually made up of several interacting component behaviour change techniques (BCTs) delivered in a variety of contexts.

If we are to develop more effective interventions, we need to understand variation in intervention effects and mechanisms of action of effective interventions.  Achieving this will require advances in the scientific methods we use to study and change behaviour.  One such advance is a method for characterising the content, that is, the potentially active ingredients within interventions.

This talk will present the BCT Taxonomy v1, a method for specifying interventions in terms of their BCTs using standardised terms and definitions developed by cross-disciplinary and international consensus. This method has been used to identify effective BCTs in meta-analyses, to use a systematic method for designing and evaluating interventions and to accurately implement interventions found to be effective.

This presentation will give examples of studies that have used the BCT methodology to identify effective BCTs in smoking cessation and alcohol reduction interventions and to assess the extent to which interventions have been delivered according to protocol.  It will also illustrate how it has been used to translate evidence into practice by informing a national smoking cessation training programme.

Click here for presentation slides.