STUDY | 
Health
 BEHAVIOR CHANGE

MAP-IT: A Practical Tool for Planning Complex Behavior Modification Interventions.

Hansen (2017)
Summary by 

Health research often aims to prevent noncommunicable diseases and to improve individual and public health by discovering intervention strategies that are effective in changing behavior and/or environments that are detrimental to ones health. Ideally, findings from original research support practitioners in planning and implementing effective interventions. Unfortunately, interventions often fail to overcome the translational block between science and practice. They often ignore theoretical knowledge, overlook empirical evidence, and underrate the impact of the environment. Accordingly, sustainable changes in individual behavior and/or the environment are difficult to achieve. Developing theory-driven and evidence-based interventions in the real world is a complex task. Existing implementation frameworks and theories often do not meet the needs of health practitioners. The purpose of this article is to synthesize existing frameworks and to provide a tool, the Matrix Assisting Practitioners Intervention Planning Tool (MAP-IT), that links research to practice and helps practitioners to design multicomponent interventions. In this article, we use physical activity of older adults as an example to explain the rationale of MAP-IT. In MAP-IT, individual as well as environmental mechanisms are listed and behavior change techniques are linked to these mechanisms and to intervention components. MAP-IT is theory-driven and evidence-based. It is time-saving and helpful for practitioners when planning complex interventions.