Using the Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy v1 to conceptualize the clinical content of Breaking Free Online: a computer-assisted therapy program for substance use disorders.

Dugdale (2016)
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In recent years, research within the field of health psychology has made significant progress in terms of advancing and standardizing the science of developing, evaluating and reporting complex behavioral change interventions. A major part of this work has involved the development of an evidence-based Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy v1 (BCTTv1), as a means of describing the active components contained within such complex interventions. To date, however, this standardized approach derived from health psychology research has not been applied to the development of complex interventions for the treatment of substance use disorders (SUD). Therefore, this paper uses Breaking Free Online (BFO), a computer-assisted therapy program for SUD, as an example of how the clinical techniques contained within such an intervention might be mapped onto the BCTTv1. The developers of BFO were able to produce a full list of the clinical techniques contained within BFO. Exploratory mapping of the BCTTv1 onto the clinical content of the BFO program was conducted separately by the authors of the paper. This included the developers of the BFO program and psychology professionals working within the SUD field. These coded techniques were reviewed by the authors and any discrepancies in the coding were discussed between all authors until an agreement was reached. The BCTTv1 was mapped onto the clinical content of the BFO program. At least one behavioral change technique was found in 12 out of 16 grouping categories within the BCTTv1. A total of 26 out of 93 behavior change techniques were identified across the clinical content of the program. This exploratory mapping exercise has identified the specific behavior change techniques contained within BFO, and has provided a means of describing these techniques in a standardized way using the BCTTv1 terminology. It has also provided an opportunity for the BCTTv1 mapping process to be reported to the wider SUD treatment community, as it may have real utility in the development and evaluation of other psychosocial and behavioral change interventions within this field.