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Am J Public Health. 2010 Nov;100(11):2193-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.155200. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Meta-synthesis of health behavior change meta-analyses.

Author information

1
Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-1248, USA. blair.t.johnson@uconn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We integrated and compared meta-analytic findings across diverse behavioral interventions to characterize how well they have achieved change in health behavior.

METHODS:

Outcomes from 62 meta-analyses of interventions for change in health behavior were quantitatively synthesized, including 1011 primary-level investigations with 599,559 participants. Content coding suggested 6 behavioral domains: eating and physical activity, sexual behavior, addictive behaviors, stress management, female-specific screening and intervention behaviors, and behaviors involving use of health services.

RESULTS:

Behavior change interventions were efficacious (mean effect sizes = 0.08-0.45). Behavior change was more evident in more recent meta-analyses; those that sampled older interventions and literatures or sampled more published articles; those that included studies that relied on self-report, used briefer interventions, or sampled fewer, older, or female participants; and in some domains (e.g., stress management) more than others (e.g., sexual behaviors).

CONCLUSIONS:

Interventions improved health-related behaviors; however, efficacy varied as a function of participant and intervention characteristics. This meta-synthesis provides information about the efficacy of behavioral change interventions across health domains and populations; this knowledge can inform the design and development of public health interventions and future meta-analyses of these studies.

PMID:
20167901
PMCID:
PMC2951968
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2008.155200
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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