The associations between the response efficacy and objective and subjective change in physical activity and diet in the Information and Risk Modification trial.
Public Health 2018 ; 165: 26-33.
PubMed ID : 30352317
PMCID : PMC6292838
Many health promotion campaigns and interventions focussing on improving health-related behaviours have been based on targeting response efficacy. This is based on the assumption that response efficacy is an important modifiable determinant of behaviour change. This study aimed to quantify the association between response efficacy and objective and subjective measures of physical activity and diet.
Prospective cohort analysis of data from a randomised controlled trial.
A total of 953 participants were assessed for response efficacy at baseline and 12 weeks following randomisation to interventions to increase physical activity and improve diet. Subjective measures were collected via a self-report questionnaire that included two questions used to derive the Cambridge Index of physical activity and questions about daily or weekly fruit and vegetable, whole grain, meat and fish intake, based on the dietary guidelines to lower cardiovascular risk. Objective measures were quantified using accelerometers and plasma carotenoids.
The mean change in response efficacy for physical activity was +0.5 (standard deviation [SD] 2.0) and for diet was +0.5 (SD 2.1).There were no clinically or statistically significant associations between baseline or change in response efficacy and objective and subjective measures of physical activity or objective measures of diet. There was a small statistically significant association between baseline response efficacy and change in self-reported wholegrain consumption, but this is unlikely to be clinically significant.
Response efficacy is not a fundamental determinant of diet and physical activity and should not be the main focus of interventions targeting these behaviours.