Intervention taxonomy (ITAX): Describing essential features of interventions

Richard Schulz, Sara J. Czaja, James R. McKay, Marcia G. Ory, Steven H. Belle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Objectives: To identify key features of interventions that need to be considered in the design, execution, and reporting of interventions. Methods: Based on prior work on decomposing psychosocial and clinical interventions, current guidelines for describing interventions, and a review of a broad range of intervention studies, we developed a comprehensive intervention taxonomy. Results: Specific recommendations, rationales, and definitions of intervention delivery and content characteristics including mode, materials, location, schedule, scripting, and sensitivity to participant characteristics, interventionist characteristics, adaptability, implementation, content strategies, and mechanisms of action are provided. Conclusions: Applying this taxonomy will advance intervention science by (a) improving intervention designs, (b) enhancing replication and follow- up of intervention studies, (c) facilitating systematic exploration of the efficacy and effectiveness of intervention components through cross-study analysis, and (d) informing decisions about the feasibility of implementation in broader community settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-821
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Intervention content
  • Intervention delivery
  • Intervention taxonomy
  • Randomized trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology


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