Behavior Change Techniques Used in Group-Based Behavioral Support by the English Stop-Smoking Services and Preliminary Assessment of Association with Short-term Quit Outcomes

Robert West*, Adam Evans, Susan Michie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To develop a reliable coding scheme for components of group-based behavioral support for smoking cessation, to establish the frequency of inclusion in English Stop-Smoking Service (SSS) treatment manuals of specific components, and to investigate the associations between inclusion of behavior change techniques (BCTs) and service success rates.A taxonomy of BCTs specific to group-based behavioral support was developed and reliability of use assessed. All English SSSs (n = 145) were contacted to request their group-support treatment manuals. BCTs included in the manuals were identified using this taxonomy. Associations between inclusion of specific BCTs and short-term (4-week) self-reported quit outcomes were assessed.Fourteen group-support BCTs were identified with >90% agreement between coders. One hundred and seven services responded to the request for group-support manuals of which 30 had suitable documents. On average, 7 BCTs were included in each manual. Two were positively associated with 4-week quit rates: "communicate group member identities" and a "betting game" (a financial deposit that is lost if a stop-smoking "buddy" relapses).It is possible to reliably code group-specific BCTs for smoking cessation. Fourteen such techniques are present in guideline documents of which 2 appear to be associated with higher short-term self-reported quit rates when included in treatment manuals of English SSSs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1320
JournalNicotine & Tobacco Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

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