Design and development of a complex narrative intervention delivered by text messages to reduce binge drinking among socially disadvantaged men

Irvine, L., Melson, A. J. , Williams, B., Sniehotta, F. F., Humphris, G. and Crombie, I. K. (2018) Design and development of a complex narrative intervention delivered by text messages to reduce binge drinking among socially disadvantaged men. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 4, 105. (doi: 10.1186/s40814-018-0298-0)

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Background: Socially disadvantaged men are at high risk of suffering from alcohol-related harm. Disadvantaged groups are less likely to engage with health promotion. There is a need for interventions that reach large numbers at low cost and which promote high levels of engagement with the behaviour change process. The aim of this study was to design a theoretically and empirically based text message intervention to reduce binge drinking by socially disadvantaged men. Results: Following MRC guidance, the intervention was developed in four stages. Stage 1 developed a detailed behaviour change strategy based on existing literature and theory from several areas. These included the psychological theory that would underpin the intervention, alcohol brief interventions, text message interventions, effective behaviour change techniques, narratives in behaviour change interventions and communication theory. In addition, formative research was carried out. A logic model was developed to depict the pathways between intervention inputs, processes and outcomes for behaviour change. Stage 2 created a narrative which illustrated and modelled key steps in the strategy. Stage 3 rendered the intervention into a series of text messages and ensured that appropriate behavioural change techniques were incorporated. Stage 4 revised the messages to ensure comprehensive coverage of the behaviour change strategy and coherence of the narrative. It also piloted the intervention and made final revisions to it. Conclusions: The structured, systematic approach to design created a narrative intervention which had a strong theoretical and empirical basis. The use of a narrative helped make the intervention realistic and allowed key behaviour change techniques to be modelled by characters. The narrative was intended to promote engagement with the intervention. The intervention was rendered into a series of short text messages, and subsequent piloting showed they were acceptable in the target group. Delivery of an intervention by text message offers a low-cost, low-demand method that can reach large numbers of people. This approach provides a framework for the design of behaviour change interventions which could be used for interventions to tackle other health behaviours.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The project was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research (PHR) programme, grant number 11/3050/30
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Melson, Dr Ambrose
Authors: Irvine, L., Melson, A. J., Williams, B., Sniehotta, F. F., Humphris, G., and Crombie, I. K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Pilot and Feasibility Studies
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):2055-5784
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Pilot and Feasibility Studies 4:105
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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