Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
22/02/2019
Date assigned
28/02/2019
Last edited
26/02/2019
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
Recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Goal setting is an effective behaviour change technique, but there are no studies comparing setting behavioural goals (e.g., exercise 5 times a week) versus setting outcome goals (e.g., lose 1 lb in weight per week). Furthermore, it is not clear at what level behavioural goals should optimally be set. Thus, in the example above, “exercising 5 times a week” is currently considered just as much as behavioural goal as “walking a mile 5 times a week”. However, for people who are currently sedentary, setting a goal of “walking” might be more achievable than setting a goal of “exercising”. The aim of this study is therefore to explore the effectiveness of goals based on instrumental acts (e.g., walking), compound behaviours (e.g., exercising) and outcomes (e.g., losing weight) compared to a control group that does not set a goal. It is expected that setting goals will be more effective in increasing physical activity than not setting goals and that setting goals framed in terms of instrumental acts and compound behaviour will result in greater increases in physical activity than goal setting framed in terms of outcome. For individuals with a more sedentary lifestyle, formulating goals as instrumental acts would be more effective than goal setting around compound behaviours or outcomes. The study also explores if the level of physical activity prior to setting a goal influences the effectiveness of goal setting interventions (i.e., Do goals work best in those with a less physical active lifestyle rather than those with a more physical active lifestyle?). It is expect that goal setting is likely to be better for people that are already more active, comparing to individuals with a more sedentary lifestyle. Whereas, setting goals around outcomes is expected to be more sustaining for individuals that are generally more active.

Who can participate?
People over the age of 18 who are able to perform light exercise but typically engage in fewer than 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) per week

What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to one of four groups and asked to complete a questionnaire. For participants in the control group, questionnaire completion is the end of the study. Participants in the other three groups are asked to set a goal. The four groups are:
1. Control group - no goal setting
2. Intervention group 1 - goal setting based on instrumental acts (i.e., a single behaviour)
3. Intervention group 2 - goal setting based on a compound behaviour (i.e., to increase physical activity)
4. Intervention group 3 - goal setting based on an outcome (e.g., to lose 0.5 lb of weight per week)

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants in the intervention group will learn a new technique that may help them with increasing their physical activity. Additionally, participants will receive a payment for their participation in the study. The participants may make changes to their lifestyles by becoming more active, but this is considered a benefit rather than a risk.

Where is the study run from?
The panel of participants of Prolific Academic will be used to recruit participants and administer the survey.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
February 2019 to April 2019

Who is funding the study?
The study is part of a wider programme of research funded by Tesco PLC

Who is the main contact?
1. Prof. Christopher Armitage
chris.armitage@manchester.ac.uk
2. Dr Tracy Epton
tracy.epton@manchester.ac.uk

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Dr Tracy Epton

ORCID ID

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1653-191X

Contact details

Manchester Centre for Health Psychology
University of Manchester
Room G7
Coupland I
Coupland Street
Manchester
M13 9PT
United Kingdom
+44 (0)161 3060455
tracy.epton@manchester.ac.uk

Type

Scientific

Additional contact

Prof Christopher Armitage

ORCID ID

http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2365-1765

Contact details

Manchester Centre for Health Psychology
University of Manchester
Coupland I
Coupland Street
Manchester
M13 9PT
United Kingdom
+44 (0)161 275 2556
chris.armitage@manchester.ac.uk

Type

Scientific

Additional contact

Miss Georgia Christou

ORCID ID

Contact details

Manchester Centre for Health Psychology
University of Manchester
Room G1
Coupland I
Coupland Street
Manchester
M13 9PT
United Kingdom
-
georgia.christou@manchester.ac.uk

Type

Scientific

Additional contact

Mr Bradley Walton

ORCID ID

Contact details

Manchester Centre for Health Psychology
University of Manchester
Room G1
Coupland I
Coupland Street
Manchester
M13 9PT
United Kingdom
-
bradley.walton@manchester.ac.uk

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

Nil known

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Nil known

Protocol/serial number

2019-5486-9429

Study information

Scientific title

Does the level at which goals are set (i.e., individual behaviours versus categories of behaviour versus outcomes of behaviour) influence their effectiveness?

Acronym

Levels of Goal Setting Study

Study hypothesis

1. The goal setting groups will report greater increases in physical activity than the control group
2. Formulating goals as instrumental acts or compound behaviours will increase physical activity more than setting outcomes as goals
3.1. Goal setting will be most effective for those who are currently more active.
3.2. Among people who are sedentary, setting goals around instrumental acts will be more effective than goal setting around compound behaviours or outcomes.
3.3. Among people who are more physically active, setting goals around outcomes will be more sustaining than setting goals around instrumental acts or compound behaviours

Ethics approval

University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee 1 (UREC1), Research Governance, Ethics and Integrity, 2nd Floor Christie Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2206/2674, Email: research.ethics@manchester.ac.uk, 20/02/2019, ref: 2019-5486-9429

Study design

Mixed participant design with 3 factors. The between participant factors are type of goal (4 levels; control, instrumental, compound behaviours and outcome goals) and physical activity bracket (2 levels; very inactive and moderately inactive). The within participant factor is physical activity at baseline and 2 weeks follow up.

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Internet

Trial type

Prevention

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet.

Condition

Behavioural goal setting

Intervention

Participants will be randomized to one of four conditions and asked to complete a questionnaire. For participants in the control group, questionnaire completion will signal the end of the study. Participants in the other three conditions will be asked to set a goal. The four study conditions are:
1. Control Condition - No goal setting
2. Intervention group 1 - Goal setting based on instrumental acts (i.e., a single behaviour)
3. Intervention group 2 - Goal setting based on a compound behaviour (i.e., to increase physical activity)
4. Intervention group 3 - Goal setting based on an outcome (e.g., to lose 0.5lbs of weight per week)

Intervention type

Behavioural

Phase

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Participants' engagement in physical activity subdivided into:
1. Walking, measured at baseline and follow-up
2. Walking frequency, measured at baseline and follow-up
3. Walking time, measured at baseline and follow-up
4. Walking intensity, measured at baseline and follow-up
5. Cycling, measured at baseline and follow-up
6. Cycling frequency, measured at baseline and follow-up
7. Cycling time, measured at baseline and follow-up
8. Cycling intensity, measured at baseline and follow-up
9. Sport/activity, measured at baseline and follow-up
10. Sport/activity frequency, measured at baseline and follow-up
11. Sport/activity time, measured at baseline and follow-up
12. Sport/activity intensity, measured at baseline and follow-up
13. Sitting time during a week, measured at baseline and follow-up
14. Sitting time during the weekend, measured at baseline and follow-up

All variables are being measured using a self-report method and a final score will be calculated by summing all activities which were sufficient to raise breathing rate. Sources: short active lives survey (Sport England), International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). The follow-up questionnaire administration will be conducted 2 weeks after the first questionnaire completion.

Secondary outcome measures

Physical activity beliefs:
1. Physical opportunity, measured at baseline and follow-up
2. Social opportunity, measured at baseline and follow-up
3. Reflective motivation, measured at baseline and follow-up
4. Automatic motivation, measured at baseline and follow-up
5. Physical ability, measured at baseline and follow-up
6. Psychological capability, measured at baseline and follow-up
Source: Keyworth, C, Epton, T, Goldthorpe, J, Calam, R, & Armitage, C. Reliability, validity, and acceptability of a brief measure of capabilities, opportunities, and motivations.

Goal beliefs:
1. Goal desire, measured at baseline and follow-up
2. Goal control, measured at baseline and follow-up
3. Goal difficulty, measured at baseline and follow-up
4. Goal confidence, measured at baseline
5. Goal attention, measured at follow-up
6. Goal effort, measured at follow-up
7. Goal commitment, measured at follow-up
8. Goal strategy, measured at follow-up
9. Goal completion, measured at follow-up
10. Goal informed, measured at follow-up
11. Group goal, measured at follow-up
Source: Perugini, M, & Conner, M (2000). Predicting and understanding behavioral volitions: The interplay between
goals and behaviors. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30(5), 705–731.

All variables are being measured using self-report. The follow-up questionnaire administration will be conducted 2 weeks after the first questionnaire completion.

Overall trial start date

15/10/2018

Overall trial end date

31/07/2019

Reason abandoned (if study stopped)

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

1. Residents of the UK
2. Over the age of 18
3. Able to perform light exercise but typically engage in fewer than 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) per week

Participant type

Healthy volunteer

Age group

Adult

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

440

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Not UK residents
2. Under 18 years old
3. Not able to perform physical activity or they typically performed more than 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) of physical activity per week

Recruitment start date

25/02/2019

Recruitment end date

25/04/2019

Locations

Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

University of Manchester
Manchester Centre for Health Psychology Coupland I, Coupland Street
Manchester
M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Sponsor information

Organisation

University of Manchester

Sponsor details

Oxford Road
Manchester
M13 9PL
United Kingdom
+44 (0)161 306 6000
georgia.christou@manchester.ac.uk

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

https://www.manchester.ac.uk/

Funders

Funder type

Industry

Funder name

TESCO PLC

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

The study is registered in Open Science Framework (https://osf.io/t4jbu/) and the analysis plan is already uploaded there.

The aim is to pursue publication in a health psychology journal (e.g. Health Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology) and submit the paper before the end of 2019.

IPD sharing statement
The datasets generated during the current study will be stored in a publically available repository (Open Science Framework (OSF) https://osf.io/t4jbu/). The dataset will include participants answers to the baseline and follow up questionnaire excluding any identification numbers. The data will be made available after the trial has been completed by the end of July 2019 and will be available for about 5 years. Participants were informed about and consented to their data being made available on the Open Science Framework website.

Intention to publish date

31/12/2019

Participant level data

Stored in repository

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

25/02/2019: Trial's existence confirmed by University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee 1.