Behaviour Change Techniques to promote self-management and home exercise adherence for people attending physiotherapy with musculoskeletal conditions: A scoping review and mapping exercise

Rachel Chester, Helena Daniell, Pippa Belderson, Carl Wong, Paula Kinsella, Sionnadh McLean, Jonathan Hill, Anirban Banerjee, Felix Naughton

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Background: Many patients with musculoskeletal problems do not adhere to home exercises or self-management advice provided by physiotherapists. This is due to numerus factors, many of which can be targeted by Behaviour Change Techniques.

Objectives: 1) Undertake a scoping review to identify the modifiable determinants (barriers and facilitators) of home exercise adherence and self-management for the physiotherapy management of people with musculoskeletal problems and map them to the Theoretical Domains Framework and Behaviour Change Techniques. 2) For determinants with supporting evidence from ≥2 studies, provide examples of Behaviour Change Techniques for clinical practice.

Design: This review follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews.

Method: Four electronic databases were searched from inception to December 2022. Two independent reviewers carried out manuscript selection, data extraction, quality assessment, and mapping, the latter using the Theory and Techniques Tool.

Results: Thirteen modifiable determinants were identified in 28 studies. The most frequently identified were self-efficacy, social support, and task appreciation. Determinants were mapped to 7 of 14 Theoretical Domains Framework categories, which in turn mapped onto 42 of 93 Behaviour Change Techniques, the most common being problem solving and instruction on how to perform behaviour.

Conclusions: By identifying determinants to home exercise adherence and self-management and mapping these to Behaviour Change Techniques, this review has improved understanding of their selection, targeting, and potential application to musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice. This provides support for physiotherapists targeting the determinants of importance for the patient in front of them.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102776
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
Early online date29 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Adherence
  • Behaviour change
  • Home exercise
  • Physiotherapy
  • Self-management

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