Table 2

Different approaches to intervention development

CategoryDefinitionExamples of approaches*
1. PartnershipThe people whom the intervention aims to help are involved in decision-making about the intervention throughout the development process, having at least equal decision-making powers with members of the research team.Coproduction, cocreation, codesign; user driven; experience-based codesign; community-based participatory research
2. Target population centredInterventions are based on the views and actions of the people who will use the intervention.Person based; user centred; human-centred design
3. Theory and evidence basedInterventions are based on combining published research evidence and existing theories for example, psychological or organisational theories.Medical Research Council Framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions; Behaviour Change Wheel; Intervention Mapping; Normalisation Process Theory; Theoretical Domains Framework
4. Implementation basedInterventions are developed with attention to ensuring the intervention will be used in the real world if found to be effective at the evaluation phase.Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance
5. Efficiency basedComponents of an intervention are tested using experimental designs to determine active components and make interventions more efficient.Multiphase Optimization Strategy
6. Stepped or phasedInterventions are developed through emphasis on a systematic and sequential set of processes involved in intervention development.Six essential Steps for Quality Intervention Development; Five actions model; Obesity Related Behavioral Intervention Trials
7. Intervention specificAn intervention development approach is constructed for a specific type of intervention.Digital (eg, Integrate, Design, Assess and Share); patient decision support aids
8. CombinationPublished approaches to intervention development are combined.Participatory Action Research based on theories of Behaviour Change and Persuasive Technology
9. PragmaticDevelopers use a self-selected set of actions.Sometimes framed as mixed methods or formative evaluation
  • *See reference 6 for references and examples.