Which behaviour change techniques are most effective at increasing older adults' self-efficacy and physical activity behaviour? A systematic review

Ann Behav Med. 2014 Oct;48(2):225-34. doi: 10.1007/s12160-014-9593-z.


Background: Increasing self-efficacy is an effective mechanism for increasing physical activity, especially for older people.

Purpose: The aim of this review was to identify behaviour change techniques (BCTs) that increase self-efficacy and physical activity behaviour in non-clinical community-dwelling adults 60 years or over.

Methods: A systematic search identified 24 eligible studies reporting change in self-efficacy for physical activity following an intervention. Moderator analyses examined whether the inclusion of specific BCTs (as defined by CALO-RE taxonomy) was associated with changes in self-efficacy and physical activity behaviour.

Results: Overall, interventions increased self-efficacy (d = 0.37) and physical activity (d = 0.14). Self-regulatory techniques such as setting behavioural goals, prompting self-monitoring of behaviour, planning for relapses, providing normative information and providing feedback on performance were associated with lower levels of both self-efficacy and physical activity.

Conclusions: Many commonly used self-regulation intervention techniques that are effective for younger adults may not be effective for older adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Health Promotion* / methods
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Self Efficacy*