Assessing treatment-as-usual provided to control groups in adherence trials: Exploring the use of an open-ended questionnaire for identifying behaviour change techniques

Edwin J M Oberjé*, Alexandra L. Dima, Frank J. Pijnappel, Jan M. Prins, Marijn de Bruin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Reporting guidelines call for descriptions of control group support in equal detail as for interventions. However, how to assess the active content (behaviour change techniques (BCTs)) of treatment-as-usual (TAU) delivered to control groups in trials remains unclear. The objective of this study is to pre-test a method of assessing TAU in a multicentre cost-effectiveness trial of an HIV-treatment adherence intervention. Design: HIV-nurses (N = 21) completed a semi-structured open-ended questionnaire enquiring about TAU adherence counselling. Two coders independently coded BCTs. Main outcome measures: Completeness and clarity of nurse responses, inter-coder reliabilities and the type of BCTs reported were examined. Results: The clarity and completeness of nurse responses were adequate. Twenty-three of the 26 identified BCTs could be reliably coded (mean κ = .79; mean agreement rate = 96%) and three BCTs scored below κ = .60. Total number of BCTs reported per nurse ranged between 7 and 19 (M = 13.86, SD = 3.35). Conclusions: This study suggests that the TAU open-ended questionnaire is a feasible and reliable tool to capture active content of support provided to control participants in a multicentre adherence intervention trial. Considerable variability in the number of BCTs provided to control patients was observed, illustrating the importance of reliably collecting and accurately reporting control group support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-910
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology & Health
Volume30
Issue number8
Early online date20 Jan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

Keywords

  • behaviour change techniques
  • control group
  • randomised controlled trial
  • treatment-as-usual

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