Inj Prev 16:107-112 doi:10.1136/ip.2009.021972
  • Special feature

A practical approach for applying best practices in behavioural interventions to injury prevention

Open AccessEditor's Choice
  1. Lela Jacobsohn1
  1. 1The Center for Injury Research & Prevention, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  4. 4Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Flaura Koplin Winston, c/o Center for Injury Research and Prevention, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3535 Market Street, 11th floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; flaura{at}
  1. Contributors The authors would like to thank Nancy Kassam-Adams for her review and guidance.

  • Accepted 29 November 2009


Behavioural science when combined with engineering, epidemiology and other disciplines creates a full picture of the often fragmented injury puzzle and informs comprehensive solutions. To assist efforts to include behavioural science in injury prevention strategies, this paper presents a methodological tutorial that aims to introduce best practices in behavioural intervention development and testing to injury professionals new to behavioural science. This tutorial attempts to bridge research to practice through the presentation of a practical, systematic, six-step approach that borrows from established frameworks in health promotion and disease prevention. Central to the approach is the creation of a programme theory that links a theoretically grounded, empirically tested behaviour change model to intervention components and their evaluation. Serving as a compass, a programme theory allows for systematic focusing of resources on the likely most potent behavioural intervention components and directs evaluation of intervention impact and implementation. For illustration, the six-step approach is applied to the creation of a new peer-to-peer campaign, Ride Like a Friend/Drive Like You Care, to promote safe teen driver and passenger behaviours.


  • Funding State Farm Insurance Companies.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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