The role of commitment strength in enhancing safe water consumption : Mediation analysis of a cluster-randomized trial

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2014
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Tobias, Robert
Mosler, Hans-Joachim
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British Journal of Health Psychology. 2014, 19(4), pp. 701-719. ISSN 1359-107X. eISSN 2044-8287. Available under: doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12068
Zusammenfassung

Objectives

The objectives of this study were to investigate the importance of commitment strength in the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and to test whether behaviour change techniques (BCTs) aimed at increasing commitment strength indeed promote switching to arsenic-safe wells by changing commitment strength.

Design

A cluster-randomized controlled trial with four arms was conducted to compare an information-only intervention to information plus one, two, or three commitment-enhancing BCTs.

Methods

Randomly selected households (N = 340) of Monoharganj, Bangladesh, in seven geographically separate areas, whose members were drinking arsenic-contaminated water at baseline and had access to arsenic-safe wells, participated in this trial. The areas were randomly allocated to the four intervention arms. Water consumption behaviour, variables of the TPB, commitment strength, and socio-demographic characteristics were assessed at baseline and at 3-month follow-up by structured face-to-face interviews. Mediation analysis was used to investigate the mechanisms of behaviour change.

Results

Changes in commitment strength significantly increased the explanatory power of the TPB to predict well-switching. Commitment-enhancing BCTs – public self-commitment, implementation intentions, and reminders – increased the behaviour change effects of information by up to 50%. Mediation analyses confirmed that the BCTs indeed increased well-switching by increasing commitment strength. Unexpectedly, however, mediation via changes in behavioural intentions was the strongest mechanism of the intervention effects.

Conclusions

Commitment is an important construct to consider in water- and health-related behaviour change and may be for other health behaviours as well. BCTs that alter behavioural intentions and commitment strength proved highly effective at enhancing the behaviour change effects of information alone.

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150 Psychologie
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behaviour change, commitment strength, implementation intentions, prompts, reminders, public self-commitment, theory-based intervention, safe water consumption, Bangladesh
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ISO 690INAUEN, Jennifer, Robert TOBIAS, Hans-Joachim MOSLER, 2014. The role of commitment strength in enhancing safe water consumption : Mediation analysis of a cluster-randomized trial. In: British Journal of Health Psychology. 2014, 19(4), pp. 701-719. ISSN 1359-107X. eISSN 2044-8287. Available under: doi: 10.1111/bjhp.12068
BibTex
@article{Inauen2014commi-29870,
  year={2014},
  doi={10.1111/bjhp.12068},
  title={The role of commitment strength in enhancing safe water consumption : Mediation analysis of a cluster-randomized trial},
  number={4},
  volume={19},
  issn={1359-107X},
  journal={British Journal of Health Psychology},
  pages={701--719},
  author={Inauen, Jennifer and Tobias, Robert and Mosler, Hans-Joachim}
}
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    <dcterms:abstract xml:lang="eng">Objectives&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;The objectives of this study were to investigate the importance of commitment strength in the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and to test whether behaviour change techniques (BCTs) aimed at increasing commitment strength indeed promote switching to arsenic-safe wells by changing commitment strength.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Design&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;A cluster-randomized controlled trial with four arms was conducted to compare an information-only intervention to information plus one, two, or three commitment-enhancing BCTs.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Methods&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Randomly selected households (N = 340) of Monoharganj, Bangladesh, in seven geographically separate areas, whose members were drinking arsenic-contaminated water at baseline and had access to arsenic-safe wells, participated in this trial. The areas were randomly allocated to the four intervention arms. Water consumption behaviour, variables of the TPB, commitment strength, and socio-demographic characteristics were assessed at baseline and at 3-month follow-up by structured face-to-face interviews. Mediation analysis was used to investigate the mechanisms of behaviour change.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Results&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Changes in commitment strength significantly increased the explanatory power of the TPB to predict well-switching. Commitment-enhancing BCTs – public self-commitment, implementation intentions, and reminders – increased the behaviour change effects of information by up to 50%. Mediation analyses confirmed that the BCTs indeed increased well-switching by increasing commitment strength. Unexpectedly, however, mediation via changes in behavioural intentions was the strongest mechanism of the intervention effects.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Conclusions&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Commitment is an important construct to consider in water- and health-related behaviour change and may be for other health behaviours as well. BCTs that alter behavioural intentions and commitment strength proved highly effective at enhancing the behaviour change effects of information alone.</dcterms:abstract>
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