Designing an intervention

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Traditionally, an intervention has been construed as a set of activities on the part of an intervenor to bring about changes in the behavior of target individuals or groups. There are three major paradigms for behavior change: mechanistic, organismic and contextual. With the recent advent of contextualism, theories of behavior change have been expanded to include cultural factors that influence behavior. For example, social learning theory, which has been widely used in HIV prevention research, has been subsumed under a contextual paradigm. This chapter provides guidance on the steps in designing an intervention research study. In addition to discussing the complexities involved at each step, important methodological issues, discussed in more detail in other chapters in this book, are also raised. This chapter raises some of the complex issues involved in conducting intervention research, such as recognition of the extent to which research is designed to reflect reality, it may lose some rigor and may compromise the validity of the findings. This is a field in which there is a delicate balance between rigor and public health significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHow to Write a Successful Research Grant Application
Subtitle of host publicationA Guide for Social and Behavioral Scientists: Second Edition
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781441914538
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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