An examination of theory and behavior change in randomized clinical trials

W. Jack Rejeski, Lawrence R. Brawley, Edward McAuley, Stephen Rapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper underscores the important role played by theory-based mediating variables in randomized clinical trials. Indeed, it is essential that we know what mediating variables are relevant for particular outcomes in randomized clinical trials and that we design interventions to optimize change in the mediators of interest. Yet, knowledge of the pivotal mediating variables in behavior change does not imply that we know how to intervene effectively. This gap may be due to the fact that existing research typically has been designed to garner support for theory, as opposed to testing support for behavior change strategies that are based on theory. In addition, we argue that there are important mediating variables in behavior change that have not been given systematic attention in theory development. For example, behavior change must be viewed as a collaborative process, and participants' perceptions concerning the feasibility of change is important to motivational processes in randomized clinical trials. Control Clin Trials 2000;21:164S-170S Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S164-S170
JournalControlled Clinical Trials
Issue number5 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 2000


  • Behavior change
  • Mediating variables
  • Randomized control trials
  • Theory development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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