Utilising a behaviour change model to improve implementation of the activate injury prevention exercise programme in schoolboy rugby union

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The Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) is a behaviour change model showing promise in positively changing youth sport coaches’ injury prevention behaviours. This study incorporated the HAPA model into coach training workshops for Activate, an efficacious rugby injury prevention programme. Primary aims were to investigate the effect of the workshop on schoolboy rugby union coaches’ (1) perceptions towards injury risk and prevention, (2) Activate adoption and adherence. Secondary aims were to (3) assess the differences in post-season HAPA constructs between workshop attendees and non-attendees, (4) explore associations between HAPA constructs and Activate adherence. In the pre-season, all participants (n = 76) completed a baseline survey, with 41 coaches electing to attend a workshop. Participants completed a post-season survey assessing HAPA constructs and Activate adoption and adherence throughout the season. The workshop did not affect coach perceptions of injury risk and prevention. Attendees had significantly greater rates of Activate adoption (95% vs. 54% χ2 = 17.42, p < 0.01) and adherence (median = 2 sessions vs. ≤1 session per week; z = 3.45, p = 0.03) than non-attendees. At post-season, attendees had significantly greater task self-efficacy (z = −3.46, p < 0.05) and intention (z = −4.33, p < 0.05) to use Activate. These results support the delivery of coach workshops that utilise a behaviour change model to maximise programme implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5681
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Early online date26 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflicts of Interest: C.B. completed this study as part of his PhD, which is funded by the Rugby Football Union. K.A.S. is the medical research lead for the Rugby Football Union.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Activate
  • Behaviour
  • Coach
  • Implementation
  • Injury
  • Prevention
  • Rugby
  • Sport
  • Workshop
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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