Overcoming barriers to injectable therapies: Development of the ORBIT intervention within a behavioural change framework

Karen McGuigan, Alyson J Hill, Deirdre McCay, Maurice OKane, Vivien Coates

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It is estimated among individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) requiring injectable therapies to achieve optimal glycaemic control, one-third are reluctant to initiate therapies, with approximately 80% choosing to discontinue or interrupt injectable regimens soon after commencement. Initiation of injectables is a complex issue, with effectiveness of such treatments undermined by non-adherence or poor engagement. Poor engagement and adherence are attributed to psychological aspects such as individuals’ negative perceptions of injectables, depression, anxiety, feelings of shame, distress and perceived lack of control over their condition. The aim of this study was to describe the development of a structured diabetes intervention to address psychological barriers to injectable treatments among a cohort of those with T2D; conducted within a behavioural change framework. An evidence base was developed to inform on key psychological barriers to injectable therapies. A systematic review highlighted the need for theory-based, structured diabetes education focussed on associated psychological constructs to inform effective, patient-centric provisions to improve injectable initiation and persistence. Findings from the focus groups with individuals who had recently commenced injectable therapies, identified patient-centric barriers to initiation and persistence with injectables. Findings from the systematic review and focus groups were translated via Behavioural Change Wheel (BCW) framework to develop an intervention for people with T2D transitioning to injectable therapies: Overcoming and Removing Barriers to Injectable Treatment in T2D (ORBIT). This article describes how psychological barriers informed the intervention with these mapped onto relevant components, intervention functions and selected behaviour change techniques, and finally aligned with behaviour change techniques. This article outlines the systematic approach to intervention development within the BCW framework; guiding readers through the practical application of each stage. The use of the BCW framework has ensured the development of the intervention is theory driven, with the research able to be evaluated and validated through replication due to the clarity around processes and tasks completed at each stage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number792634
Pages (from-to)792634
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers Clinical Diabetes And Healthcare
Early online date9 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 9 Dec 2021


  • type 2 diabetes
  • behaviour change
  • intervention
  • injectable therapies
  • psychological
  • Clinical Diabetes and Healthcare


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