McCullough AR, Ryan C, O'Neill B, Bradley JM, Elborn JS, Hughes CM.

Link to publication page:

Journal Ref: BMC Health Serv Res. 2015 Aug 22;15:342. doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-1004-z.


Low patient adherence to treatment is associated with poorer health outcomes in bronchiectasis. We sought to use the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) (a framework derived from 33 psychological theories) and behavioural change techniques (BCTs) to define the content of an intervention to change patients' adherence in bronchiectasis (Stage 1 and 2) and stakeholder expert panels to define its delivery (Stage 3).


We conducted semi-structured interviews with patients with bronchiectasis about barriers and motivators to adherence to treatment and focus groups or interviews with bronchiectasis healthcare professionals (HCPs) about their ability to change patients' adherence to treatment. We coded these data to the 12 domain TDF to identify relevant domains for patients and HCPs (Stage 1). Three researchers independently mapped relevant domains for patients and HCPs to a list of 35 BCTs to identify two lists (patient and HCP) of potential BCTs for inclusion (Stage 2). We presented these lists to three expert panels (two with patients and one with HCPs/academics from across the UK). We asked panels who the intervention should target, who should deliver it, at what intensity, in what format and setting, and using which outcome measures (Stage 3).


Eight TDF domains were perceived to influence patients' and HCPs' behaviours: Knowledge, Skills, Beliefs about capability, Beliefs about consequences, Motivation, Social influences, Behavioural regulation and Nature of behaviours (Stage 1). Twelve BCTs common to patients and HCPs were included in the intervention: Monitoring, Self-monitoring, Feedback, Action planning, Problem solving, Persuasive communication, Goal/target specified:behaviour/outcome, Information regarding behaviour/outcome, Role play, Social support and Cognitive restructuring (Stage 2). Participants thought that an individualised combination of these BCTs should be delivered to all patients, by a member of staff, over several one-to-one and/or group visits in secondary care. Efficacy should be measured using pulmonary exacerbations, hospital admissions and quality of life (Stage 3).


Twelve BCTs form the intervention content. An individualised selection from these 12 BCTs will be delivered to all patients over several face-to-face visits in secondary care. Future research should focus on developing physical materials to aid delivery of the intervention prior to feasibility and pilot testing. If effective, this intervention may improve adherence and health outcomes for those with bronchiectasis in the future.