Objective: Behaviour change maintenance seems to be difficult for many people. To prevent people from relapsing, insight into determinants of relapse is needed. We synthesized the evidence on predictors of lapse and relapse in physical activity and dietary behaviour change. Design: Prospective studies in adults aged ≥18 years were identified from systematic searches in PsycINFO, PubMed and Cinahl. Methodological quality was analysed, and data were synthesized narratively. Main outcome measures: Lapse and relapse in physical activity and dietary behaviour. Results: 37 articles were included. For several predictors, evidence for an association was found, with self-efficacy as the only consistent predictor across the different outcomes, predicting both lapse and relapse in physical activity, and relapse in dietary behaviour. For most other variables, evidence for prospective relationships with lapse and relapse was insufficient. Conclusion: Most predictors on lapse and relapse were not examined frequently enough to draw conclusions from; many predictors were studied only once or had inconclusive evidence. To be able to provide more substantiated conclusions, more high-quality research is needed. Practitioners and intervention programs could focus on sustainability of behaviour change, by targeting the outcome of interest and its relevant predictors by using behaviour change techniques that have proven effective.
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© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- dietary behaviour
- physical activity