The Fidelity of Training in Behaviour Change Techniques to Intervention Design in a National Diabetes Prevention Programme

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BACKGROUND: The National Health Service Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS-DPP) is a behavioural intervention for people identified as high risk for developing type 2 diabetes that has been rolled out across England. The present study evaluates whether the four commercial providers of the NHS-DPP train staff to deliver behaviour change technique (BCT) content with fidelity to intervention plans.

METHOD: One set of mandatory training courses across the four NHS-DPP providers (seven courses across 13 days) was audio-recorded, and all additional training materials used were collected. Recordings and training materials were coded for BCT content using the BCT Taxonomy v1. BCTs and depth of training (e.g. instruction, demonstration, practice) of BCT content was checked against providers' intervention plans.

RESULTS: Ten trainers and 78 trainees were observed, and 12 documents examined. The number of unique BCTs in audio recordings and associated training materials ranged from 19 to 44 across providers, and staff were trained in 53 unique BCTs across the whole NHS-DPP. Staff were trained in 66% of BCTs that were in intervention plans, though two providers trained staff in approximately half of BCTs to be delivered. The most common way that staff were trained in BCT delivery was through instruction. Training delivery style (e.g. experiential versus educational) varied between providers.

CONCLUSION: Observed training evidences dilution from providers' intervention plans. NHS-DPP providers should review their training to ensure staff are trained in all key intervention components, ensuring thorough training of BCTs (e.g. demonstrating and practicing how to deliver) to enhance BCT delivery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of behavioral medicine
Early online date9 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2021


  • Behaviour change techniques
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Fidelity
  • Staff training
  • Type 2 diabetes


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