July 21, 2024

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Intervention mapping for digital prevention programs

Intervention mapping for digital prevention programs

People are getting older and the demand for care is also increasing. This hasn’t been news in years. Our behavior is largely responsible for our health. Our personality and environment play an important role in this. Behavioral change is one of the key factors that can contribute to improving our health.

Rick Crutzen, professor of behavior change and technology, MUMC+, gave a presentation on applying intervention mapping to developing digital prevention programs that should lead to behavior change and longer, healthier lives.

Intervention mapping

Intervention mapping is not a theory or a model; It is an approach to planning and developing health promotion interventions. This method maps the entire path; From recognizing the need or problem to identifying the solution. Although intervention mapping is presented as a series of steps, Bartholomew and colleagues (2016) view the planning process as iterative rather than linear. Program planners switch between tasks and steps. The process is also cumulative: each step builds on previous steps, and not paying attention to any step can lead to errors and inadequate decisions.

Guido Metz, a postdoctoral researcher at MUMC+, focused on evaluation, with particular attention to going beyond randomized controlled trials in situations where prevention programs are less appropriate. To this end, Guido introduced an alternative framework for evaluation and improvement, called the periodic evaluation process.

Case study sensitive point information

The results based on the case study were particularly interesting. The value of (digital) interventions in Sense, an online (e-health) platform for youth and young adults (12–25 years) containing information about sexual health, was examined. This study specifically described how the intervention mapping technique was used in the context of an online sexual health intervention.

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During the study, which began in 2020, different reaction moments were combined. The aim was to find out how information on the Sense website was viewed and used, and what follow-up actions or steps visitors took after viewing the information – for example about sexually transmitted diseases. Using this information, researchers were able to make it easier to find information on the site and desired next steps (such as STD testing) and further customize the language to suit the target group. A good example of this is the use of the term “consulting hours”. Many young people thought they had to make a presentation there.

Want to learn more about intervention mapping? look here.