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Development of a behaviour change communication tool for medical students: the Tent Pegs booklet

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  • Communication
  • Medicine


Objective: To describe the development and validation of a behavior change communication tool for medical students.Methods: Behavior change techniques (BCTs) were identified within the literature and used to inform a communication tool to support medical students in discussing health‐related behavior change with patients. BCTs were organized into an accessible format for medical students (the ‘Tent Pegs’ booklet) and validated using discriminant content validity methods with 11 expert judges.Results: One‐sample t‐tests showed that judges reliably mapped BCTs onto six of the seven Tent Pegs domains (confidence rating means ranged from 4.0 to 5.1 out of 10, all p ≤ 0.002). Only BCTs within the ‘empowering people to change’ domain were not significantly different from the value zero (mean confidence rating = 1.2, p > 0.05); these BCTs were most frequently allocated to the ‘addressing thoughts and emotions’ domain instead. Conclusion: BCTs within the Tent Pegs booklet are reliably allocated to corresponding behavior change domains with the exception of those within the ‘empowering people to change’ domain.Practice implications: The existing evidence‐base on BCTs can be used to directly inform development of a communication tool to support medical students facilitate health behavior change with patients.

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