CONCLUSION

To summarize, in this chapter, we have reviewed common but rarely discussed aspects of behavioral intervention work. The need to hire and train staff and form a team is common to any behavioral intervention study, and the practices pursued in these endeavors can have significant methodological bearing. Nevertheless, best practices and effective approaches remain hidden and are typically learned through trial and error or, if one is fortunate, by having an apprenticeship opportunity with a more experienced intervention researcher and his or her team.

One of the essential skills that investigators need to pursue in this line of work is an interest in, and ability to develop, coordinate, and lead, interprofessional teams. This is especially true today with the increasing emphasis on team science. Formation of a team spirit and team approach with staff, stakeholders, and interventionists is critical at almost every study phase but particularly when examining efficacy and effectiveness, and then when moving forward with an intervention’s translation, implementation, and dissemination.

Engaging in behavioral intervention work also necessitates making key career decisions as one advances along the pipeline. For example, if an intervention is proven to be effective, a decision has to be made as to whether one will invest time in its dissemination or pursue its scientific advancement, or develop and test another intervention. An investigator cannot do it all! A handoff of a proven intervention to a dissemination team, for example, may be more appropriate than trying to engage in this phase. Alternately, it may be prudent to take a proven intervention and adapt it for a particular context or population rather than develop an intervention from scratch if resources are not available to do so.

The work of designing, evaluating, and implementing interventions involves a combination of passion and science; it is a long and arduous road full of challenges, excitement, learning, and “aha!” moments—all of these aspects need to be embraced to be an effective behavioral intervention researcher!

 
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