Systematic review of process evaluations of interventions in trials investigating sedentary behaviour in adults

Jessica Faye Johansson*, Natalie Lam, Seline Ozer, Jennifer Hall, Sarah Morton, Coralie English, Claire F Fitzsimons, Rebecca Lawton, Anne Forster, David Clarke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objectives: To systematically review and synthesise findings from process evaluations of interventions in trials which measured sedentary behaviour as an outcome in adults to explore: (1) how intervention content, implementation, mechanisms of impact and context influence outcomes and (2) how these interventions are experienced from different perspectives (participants, carers, staff).
Design: Systematic review and narrative synthesis underpinned by the Medical Research Council process evaluation framework.
Data Sources: Databases searches were conducted in March 2019 then updated in May 2020 and October 2021 in: CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, AMED; EMBASE, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Web of Science and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Eligibility criteria: We included: Process evaluations of trials including interventions where sedentary behaviour was measured as an outcome in adults aged 16 or over from clinical or non-clinical populations. We excluded studies if interventions were delivered in educational or workplace settings, or if they were laboratory studies focused on immediate effects of breaking sitting.
Data extraction and synthesis: Two independent reviewers extracted and coded data into a framework and assessed the quality of studies using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. We synthesised findings using a narrative approach.
Results: 17 process evaluations were included. Five interventions focused on reducing sedentary behaviour or sitting time, 12 aimed to increase physical activity or promote healthier lifestyles. Process evaluations indicated changes in sedentary behaviour outcomes were shaped by numerous factors including: barriers (eg, staffing difficulties and scheduling problems) and facilitators (eg, allowing for flexibility) to intervention delivery; contextual factors (eg, usual lifestyle and religious events) and individual factors (eg, pain, tiredness, illness, age and individual preferences).
Discussion: Intervention requires careful consideration of different factors that could influence changes in sedentary behaviour outcomes to ensure that interventions can be tailored to suit different individuals and groups.
PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018087403.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere053945
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • adolescent
  • adult
  • exercise
  • humans
  • sedentary behavior
  • sitting position
  • workplace


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