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1.  The effect of mere-measurement of cognitions on physical activity behavior: a randomized controlled trial among overweight and obese individuals 
Background
The promotion of physical activity among an overweight/obese population is an important challenge for clinical practitioners and researchers. In this regard, completing a questionnaire on cognitions could be a simple and easy strategy to increase levels of physical activity. Thus, the aim of the present study was to test the effect of completing a questionnaire based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) on the level of physical activity.
Methods
Overall, 452 overweight/obese adults were recruited and randomized to the experimental or control group. At baseline, participants completed a questionnaire on cognitions regarding their participation in leisure-time physical activity (experimental condition) versus a questionnaire on fruit and vegetable consumption (control condition). The questionnaires assessed the TPB variables that are beliefs, attitude, norm, perception of control, intention and a few additional variables from other theories. At three-month follow-up, leisure-time physical activity was self-reported by means of a short questionnaire. An analysis of covariance with baseline physical activity level as covariate was used to verify the effect of the intervention.
Results
At follow-up, 373 participants completed the leisure-time physical activity questionnaire. The statistical analysis showed that physical activity participation was greater among participants in the experimental condition than those in the control condition (F(1,370) = 6.85, p = .009, d = 0.20).
Conclusions
Findings indicate that completing a TPB questionnaire has a significant positive impact on subsequent participation in physical activity. Consequently, asking individuals to complete such a questionnaire is a simple, inexpensive and easy strategy to increase the level of physical activity among overweight/obese adults.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-2
PMCID: PMC3023726  PMID: 21223565
2.  Key Beliefs for Targeted Interventions to Increase Physical Activity in Children: Analyzing Data from an Extended Version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour 
Given the high prevalence of overweight and low levels of physical activity among children, a better understanding of physical activity behaviour is an important step in intervention planning. This study, based on the theory of planned behaviour, was conducted among 313 fifth graders and their parents. Children completed a computer-based questionnaire to evaluate theoretical constructs and behaviour. Additional information was obtained from parents by means of a questionnaire. Correlates of children's physical activity were intention and self-identity. Determinants of intention were self-efficacy, self-identity, and attitude. Parental variables were mediated through cognitions. Among girls, practicing sedentary activities was an additional negative determinant of intention. Key beliefs of boys and girls were related to time management and difficulties associated with physical activity. For girls, social identification as an active girl was another important belief related to positive intention. This study provides theory-based information for the development of more effective interventions aimed at promoting physical activity among children.
doi:10.1155/2010/893854
PMCID: PMC2905955  PMID: 20652005
3.  Healthcare professionals' intentions and behaviours: A systematic review of studies based on social cognitive theories 
Background
There is an important gap between the implications of clinical research evidence and the routine clinical practice of healthcare professionals. Because individual decisions are often central to adoption of a clinical-related behaviour, more information about the cognitive mechanisms underlying behaviours is needed to improve behaviour change interventions targeting healthcare professionals. The aim of this study was to systematically review the published scientific literature about factors influencing health professionals' behaviours based on social cognitive theories. These theories refer to theories where individual cognitions/thoughts are viewed as processes intervening between observable stimuli and responses in real world situations.
Methods
We searched psycINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CIHNAL, Index to theses, PROQUEST dissertations and theses and Current Contents for articles published in English only. We included studies that aimed to predict healthcare professionals' intentions and behaviours with a clear specification of relying on a social cognitive theory. Information on percent of explained variance (R2) was used to compute the overall frequency-weighted mean R2 to evaluate the efficacy of prediction in several contexts and according to different methodological aspects. The cognitive factors most consistently associated with prediction of healthcare professionals' intention and behaviours were documented.
Results
Seventy eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Among these studies, 72 provided information on the determinants of intention and 16 prospective studies provided information on the determinants of behaviour. The theory most often used as reference was the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) or its extension the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). An overall frequency-weighted mean R2 of 0.31 was observed for the prediction of behaviour; 0.59 for the prediction of intention. A number of moderators influenced the efficacy of prediction; frequency-weighted mean R2 varied from 0.001 to 0.58 for behaviour and 0.19 to 0.81 for intention.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that the TPB appears to be an appropriate theory to predict behaviour whereas other theories better capture the dynamic underlying intention. In addition, given the variations in efficacy of prediction, special care should be given to methodological issues, especially to better define the context of behaviour performance.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-36
PMCID: PMC2507717  PMID: 18631386

Results 1-3 (3)