Informing a PCOS Lifestyle Program: Mapping Behavior Change Techniques to Barriers and Enablers to Behavior Change Using the Theoretical Domains Framework

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


This article aimed to identify the behavior change techniques (BCTs) based on facilitators and barriers to lifestyle management in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) according to the behavior change wheel (BCW). This qualitative study design using inductive thematic analysis following semistructured interviews (n = 20) identified barriers and enablers to lifestyle management. These were then mapped to Capability, Opportunity, Motivation-Behavioral Model (COM-B) constructs and the corresponding Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) domains. This study included women with PCOS residing in Australia. Main outcome measures include intervention functions, policy categories, and BCTs described in the BCW. Twenty-three BCTs were recognized to influence behavior change in women with PCOS. Factors were categorized into the subcomponents of the COM-B: psychological capability (e.g., lack of credible information), physical capability (e.g., managing multiple health conditions), physical opportunity (e.g., limited access to resources), social opportunity (e.g., adequate social support), reflective motivation (e.g., positive health expectancies following behavior change), and automatic motivation (e.g., emotional eating). Future research should use this work to guide PCOS lifestyle intervention development and then test intervention effectiveness through an experimental phase to provide empirical evidence for wider use and implementation of tailored, theory-informed PCOS lifestyle programs as part of evidence-based PCOS management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number03/04
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • behavior change techniques
  • lifestyle management
  • polycystic ovary syndrome

Cite this