CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EFFECTIVE DELIVERY APPROACH
As discussed, there is not one specific mode, characteristic, or approach of delivery that will fit all behavioral interventions. Delivery characteristics need to be tailored to, and directed by, the specific goals and objectives of an intervention, the targeted population, and the context in which the intervention will be implemented among other factors. However, there are some general principles that can be applied when considering an intervention that focuses specifically on behavioral change. As changing behavior is complex, treatment delivery characteristics that are most effective have been found to include multiple components (e.g., education and skill building), tailoring messaging and content to participant characteristics and needs, integrating behavioral change strategies such as motivational interviewing, obtaining buy-in and using agreements/contracts, adjusting the pace of the intervention to meet abilities, needs, and readiness of participants, using problem solving and active approaches to involve persons, and activating persons through personal goal setting and/or peer support. Using education alone, a single-size-fits-all approach or didactic style has not been found to be effective when the desired outcome is behavioral change. Finally, it has also been found that typically more is better; that is, greater exposure or more treatment sessions tend to optimize outcomes for participants.
Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether there is a specific set of delivery characteristics that is most effective for other types of behavioral interventions. Intervention researchers must always comb the literature to understand emerging evidence as to what works best for which types of situations, populations, contexts, and intervention objectives, as we have discussed earlier.