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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

A checklist to improve reporting of group-based behaviour-change interventions

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Aleksandra J. Borek, Charles Abraham, Jane R. Smith, Colin J. Greaves, Mark Tarrant
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12889-015-2300-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

Authorial order represents extent of contribution. AB, CA and CG conceived of the study and participated in its design. AB and JS coded reports of GB-BCIs as part of the reliability testing. MT helped to draft the manuscript. All authors discussed and refined the content and format of the checklist, commented on and approved the coder manual, and contributed to writing of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ information

Not applicable.



Published descriptions of group-based behaviour-change interventions (GB-BCIs) often omit design and delivery features specific to the group setting. This impedes the ability to compare behaviour-change interventions, synthesise evidence on their effectiveness and replicate effective interventions. The aim of this study was to develop a checklist of elements that should be described to ensure adequate reporting of GB-BCIs.


A range of characteristics needed to replicate GB-BCIs were extracted from the literature and precisely defined. An abbreviated checklist and a coder manual were developed, pilot tested and refined. The final checklist and coder manual were used to identify the presence or absence of specified reporting elements in 30 published descriptions of GB-BCIs by two independent coders. Reliability of coding was assessed.


The checklist comprises 26 essential reporting elements, covering intervention design, intervention content, participant characteristics, and facilitator characteristics. Inter-rater reliability for identification of reporting elements was high (95 % agreement, Mean AC1 = 0.89).


The checklist is a practical tool that can be used, alongside other reporting guidelines, to ensure comprehensive description and to assess reporting quality of GB-BCIs. It can also be helpful for designing group-based health interventions.
Additional file 1: Extensive list of reporting elements for group-based behaviour change interventions. Additional file 1 includes a table with an extensive list of 42 reporting elements important for replicating and comprehensive reporting of group-based behaviour-change interventions (identified in response to the Research Question 1). (PDF 518 kb)
Additional file 2: Coder Manual for Identification of Reporting Elements in Reports of Group-Based Behaviour-Change Interventions (GB-BCIs). Additional file 2 includes a coder manual with coding guidelines, suggestions and examples to facilitate reliable coding of the content of reports of GB-BCIs. (PDF 706 kb)
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