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Table 1 Vegethon mobile app intervention mapped to behavior change techniques (BCTs)

From: Iterative development of Vegethon: a theory-based mobile app intervention to increase vegetable consumption

Behavior Change Techniquea Definitionb Intervention component and description
1.1. Goal setting (behavior) Set or agree on a goal defined in terms of the behavior to be achieved Goals: select daily goals for number of servings and types of vegetables to consume
1.6. Discrepancy between current behavior and goal Draw attention to discrepancies between current behavior and previously set behavioral goals Progress & points; progress: bar graphs showing the discrepancy between goals and recorded consumption
1.9. Commitment Ask the person to affirm or reaffirm statements indicating commitment to change the behavior Surprise challenges: users are prompted to select “I’m in!” to affirm their commitment to undertake a surprise challenge
2.2. Feedback on behavior Monitor and provide informative or evaluative feedback on performance of the behavior In-app notifications: notifications when users reach 100 % of their daily goal or a 3-day or 7-day vegetable logging streak
2.3. Self-monitoring of behavior Establish a method for the person to monitor and record their behavior Select veggies: self-monitoring of vegetable servings and kinds consumed
4.1. Instruction on how to perform a behavior Advise or agree on how to perform the behavior Advice & tips: information on how to cook or prepare different vegetable types, and ideas for completing challenges
5.1. Information about health consequences Provide information about health consequences of performing behavior Advice & tips: information on health benefits of consuming vegetables
6.2. Social comparison Draw attention to others’ performance to allow comparison with the person’s own performance Leaderboard; weekly reports: comparing users’ consumption with others similar to them
6.3. Information about others’ approval Provide information about what other people think about the behavior. Weekly reports: great, good, or below average labels corresponding to participant performance
7.1. Prompts/cues Introduce or define environmental or social stimulus to cue behavior Push notifications: notifications to prompt self-monitoring of vegetable consumption
7.2. Reduce prompts/cues Withdraw gradually prompts to perform the behavior Push notifications: reduction in frequency if user has stopped logging, to reduce likelihood of annoyance
9.1. Credible source Present verbal or visual communication from a credible source in favor of or against behavior Goals: indicate the ‘recommended’ daily veg intake from the USDA
10.4 Social reward Arrange verbal/non-verbal reward if and only if effort/progress is made In-app notifications: messages to notify the user that a goal or challenge was met
10.5. Social incentive Inform that verbal or non-verbal reward will be delivered if and only if effort/progress is made Challenges: challenges with point-based rewards that will be delivered if met
13.1. Identification of self as role model Inform that one’s own behavior may be an example to others Push notifications: messages that label users as role models (e.g. You’re setting an impressive example in the Vegethon community.)
13.2. Framing/reframing Suggest adoption of new perspective on a behavior to change cognitions/emotions about it Name, tutorial: overall intervention framed as a race to eat as many vegetables as possible (rather than meeting a minimum necessary threshold)
13.5. Identity associated with changed behavior Advise the person to construct a new self-identity Push notifications; in-app notifications: messaging to help users begin to identify themselves as vegetable eaters (e.g., calling users ‘Vegethoners’)
15.1. Verbal persuasion about capability Tell the person they can successfully perform the wanted behavior Push notifications: positivity even when participants haven’t met goals or interacted with app recently
  1. aListed by Michie et al.‘s taxonomy number [21]
  2. bDefinition summarized based on Michie et al.‘s taxonomy [21]