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What is the Person-Based Approach to intervention development?

The Person-based Approach (PBA) focuses on understanding and accommodating the perspectives of the people who will use an intervention, in order to improve uptake, adherence and outcomes. The PBA engages with end-users at all stages of development to iteratively improve the intervention.

Core Methods

  1. Carry out iterative qualitative research with a wide range of people from the target user populations throughout intervention development and implementation
  2. Identify 'guiding principles' that can inform intervention development by highlighting key behavioural issues that the intervention must address
Core Methods

Key Papers

Yardley, L., Morrison, L., Bradbury, K., & Muller, I. (2015). The person-based approach to intervention development: application to digital health-related behavior change interventions. Journal of medical Internet research, 17(1), e30.

Yardley, L., Ainsworth, B., Arden-Close, E., & Muller, I. (2015). The person-based approach to enhancing the acceptability and feasibility of interventions. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 1(1), 37.

Band, R., Bradbury, K., Morton, K., May, C., Michie, S., Mair, F. S., Murray, E., McManus R. J., Little, P. & Yardley, L. (2017). Intervention planning for a digital intervention for self-management of hypertension: a theory-, evidence-and person-based approach. Implementation Science, 12(1), 25.

Using the PBA for Intervention Development

By involving target users from the start (and/or using qualitative synthesis of existing studies), researchers can gain an understanding of user perspective and key context-specific behavioural issues that will help the researcher to:

  • Select theory- and evidence-based techniques that are most acceptable, salient and feasible for the target population
  • Avoid or modify intervention characteristics that are disliked, impractical or intrusive
  • Suggest the need for new intervention characteristics

Guiding Principles

Qualitative data can be used to capture ‘Guiding Principles’ to inform intervention development by highlighting how the intervention will address key context-specific behavioural issues:

  1. Identify key intervention design objectives (based on issues and challenges, and needs identified as crucial to intervention success)
  2. Identify key features of the intervention that can achieve those objectives
Key features could include behaviour change techniques (from intervention planning - e.g. goal setting), technology characteristics (e.g. brief modules for mobile phones), implementation setting (e.g. primary care), etc.

Why use the PBA with LifeGuide?

LifeGuide is ideally suited to using the PBA as, unlike traditional web development, the researcher can directly make iterative changes to the intervention based on the qualitative feedback of target users. Because it is so easy to make changes using LifeGuide, users can provide feedback after each improvement, allowing the researcher to continue to develop the intervention until the needs of the target population are met.

Other Publications involving the PBA

Muller, I., Rowsell, A., Stuart, B., Hayter, V., Little, P., Ganahl, K., Müller, G., Doyle, G., Chang, P., Lyles C. R., Nutbeam, D. & Yardley, L. (2017). Effects on engagement and health literacy outcomes of web-based materials promoting physical activity in people with diabetes: an international randomized trial. Journal of medical Internet research, 19(1).

Bradbury, K., Morton, K., Band, R., May, C., McManus, R., Little, P., & Yardley, L. (2017). Understanding how primary care practitioners perceive an online intervention for the management of hypertension. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 17(1), 5.

Bishop, F. L., Greville-Harris, M., Bostock, J., Din, A., Graham, C. A., Lewith, G., Liossi, C., O’Riordan, T., Ryves, R., White, P. & Yardley, L. (2016). Using psychological theory and qualitative methods to develop a new evidence-based website about acupuncture for back pain. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 8(4), 384-393.

Morrison, D., Wyke, S., Saunderson, K., McConnachie, A., Agur, K., Chaudhuri, R., Thomas, M., Thomson, N. C., Yardley, L. & Mair, F. S. (2016). Findings from a pilot Randomised trial of an Asthma Internet Self-management Intervention (RAISIN). BMJ open,6(5).

Greville-Harris, M., Bostock, J., Din, A., Graham, C. A., Lewith, G., Liossi, C., O’Riordan, T., White, P., Yardley, L. & Bishop, F. L. (2016). Informing Patients About Placebo Effects: Using Evidence, Theory, and Qualitative Methods to Develop a New Website. JMIR research protocols, 5(2).

Geraghty, A. W., Muñoz, R. F., Yardley, L., Mc Sharry, J., Little, P., & Moore, M. (2016). Developing an Unguided Internet-Delivered Intervention for Emotional Distress in Primary Care Patients: Applying Common Factor and Person-Based Approaches. JMIR Mental Health, 3(4), e53.

Rowsell, A., Muller, I., Murray, E., Little, P., Byrne, C. D., Ganahl, K., Müller, G., Gibney, S., Lyles, C. R., Lucas, A., Nutbeam, D. & Yardley, L. (2015). Views of people with high and low levels of health literacy about a digital intervention to promote physical activity for diabetes: A qualitative study in five countries. Journal of medical Internet research,17(10).

Essery, R., Kirby, S., Geraghty, A. W., Andersson, G., Carlbring, P., Bronstein, A., Little, P. & Yardley, L. (2015). The development of balance retraining: an online intervention for dizziness in adults aged 50 years and older. American journal of audiology, 24(3), 276-279.

Geraghty, A. W., Stanford, R., Little, P., Roberts, L., Foster, N. E., Hill, J. C, Hay, E., Staurt, B., Turner, D. & Yardley, L. (2015). Using an internet intervention to support self-management of low back pain in primary care: protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility trial (SupportBack). BMJ open, 5(9).

Core PBA Team

  • Prof Lucy Yardley, University of Southampton & University of Oxford
  • Dr Leanne Morrison, University of Southampton
  • Dr Kat Bradbury, University of Southampton
  • Dr Ingrid Muller, University of Southampton
  • Dr Adam Geraghty, University of Southampton
  • Dr Rosie Essery, University of Southampton
  • Dr Ben Ainsworth, University of Southampton