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Table 1 Behavioural specification of the target behaviours

From: Reducing drug-use harms among higher education students: MyUSE contextual-behaviour change digital intervention development using the Behaviour Change Wheel

Target behaviour Who What When Where
Increase students’ behavioural awareness regarding their decision to take drugs
Reflect on alternatives to drug-use activities which fulfil personal enhancements
Higher education students (aged 18–25 yrs)
Full-time/ part time students, Erasmus/visiting students (bachelor to graduate studies)
1. Pause automatic/habitual decision making in relation to drug-use
2. Increase behavioural awareness in relation to drug-use decision making
3. Committing in specified goals which can fulfil personal enhancements
1. In night outs/ social media/ festive periods
2. During induction weeks
3. Before, during & after the exam’s periods
4. Randomly repeated during the semester
Social contexts involving a decision to take drugs (e.g. at campus, in social media, streets around the university, etc.)
Selected items derided from the Delphi-type exercise using the APEASE criteria
[A1] Users to compare their own use with the norm (descriptive norm correction; e.g. % of students with higher use than their own)
[A2] Users to reflect on their close friends’ perception about their own use or abstinence (injunctive norm correction)
[A5] Users to find out personally relevant primary motives for use, listing the personal enhancements drug use fulfil to them (underlying needs that drive the decision to take drugs)
[A10] Users to reflect on the possible negative consequences of using drugs on academic, athletic and social performance
  1. Note 1: Given that the four selected items (see Additional file 1: Table 2) are all clustered within the behavioural domain A, specifications are applied for both targeting behaviours
  2. Note 2: The advisory group consulted the APEASE criteria to guide their decisions making. The APEASE criteria specify as to: (a) the impact of the selected behaviour on the intervention’s desired outcomes; (b) the likelihood of behavioural change (c) the spillover effect of behaviour on related behaviours; (d) the accessibility of the targeted behaviour; and (e) the efficacy of the behaviour in bringing about the desired outcomes