The traditional pipeline shown in Figure 2.1 was initially adapted from the steps followed for drug discovery and biomedical research and has subsequently been applied to behavioral intervention research (Medical Research Council, 2000). As mentioned earlier, it is based on the basic premise that research evidence is advanced in a linear, incremental, progressive fashion, and that, with adequate demonstration of evidence, uptake of the intervention and positive changes in a health care or human service environment will occur.
The traditional pipeline recognizes a discovery “prephase” in which the inception of an intervention idea and its theoretical basis emerge. As this discovery prephase is critical regardless of the pipeline followed, we discuss this in great depth in Chapter 3. Then the traditional pipeline involves four key phases, as illustrated in Figure 2.1. Although there is little consensus as to what constitutes the specific activities of each phase, the most common set of actions is described briefly here.