Intervention Mapping (IM)

Intervention Mapping is a health promotion planning approach. It's designed to act as a framework for examining the problem in question, designing interventions that are more likely to be effective and for considering how they might be best implemented and evaluated.

It's key features should help intervention designers question their assumptions about both the problem and the solution by engaging with the evidence and with multiple stakeholders, and in helping with the integration of behaviour change theories and knowledge into the design of real world interventions. The IM process is also designed to encourage consideration of how the problem in question can be addressed individually but also at broader social, organisational and even political levels.

This page contains links to useful resources related to the IM process.

The key text on Intervention Mapping is...

Bartholomew, L. K. B., Markham, C. M., Kok, G., Ruiter, R. A., & Parcel, G. S. (2016). Planning health promotion programs: An intervention mapping approach. John Wiley & Sons.[amazon]

Resources - explanation of the steps, lecture notes and reading lists

Intervention Mapping Video

The six-step process

Key IM References

Bartholomew, L. K. B., Markham, C. M., Kok, G., Ruiter, R. A., & Parcel, G. S. (2016). Planning health promotion programs: an intervention mapping approach. John Wiley & Sons.[amazon]

Bartholomew, L. K., Parcel, G. S., & Kok, G. (1998). Intervention mapping: a process for developing theory and evidence-based health education programs. Health Education & Behavior, 25(5), 545-563.

Kok, G., Schaalma, H., Ruiter, R. A., Van Empelen, P., & Brug, J. (2004). Intervention mapping: protocol for applying health psychology theory to prevention programmes. Journal of Health Psychology, 9(1), 85-98.

Kok, G., Gottlieb, N. H., Peters, G. J. Y., Mullen, P. D., Parcel, G. S., Ruiter, R. A., ... & Bartholomew, L. K. (2015). A taxonomy of behaviour change methods: an intervention mapping approach. Health Psychology review, 1-16. [researchgate]

Kok, G. (2014). A practical guide to effective behavior change: How to apply theory-and evidence-based behavior change methods in an intervention.European Health Psychologist, 16(5), 156-170.

Peters, G. J. Y. (2014). A practical guide to effective behavior change: how to identify what to change in the first place. European Health Psychologist,16(5), 142-155.

Studies that used Intervention Mapping

Brug, J., Oenema, A., & Ferreira, I. (2005). Theory, evidence and Intervention Mapping to improve behavior nutrition and physical activity interventions. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2(1), 1.

Cherrington, A., Martin, M. Y., Hayes, M., Halanych, J. H., Andreae, S. J., Safford, M., ... & Appel, S. J. (2012). Intervention mapping as a guide for the development of a diabetes peer support intervention in rural Alabama. Preventing Chronic Disease, 9.

De Craemer, M., De Decker, E., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Verloigne, M., Duvinage, K., Koletzko, B., ... & Iotova, V. (2014). Applying the Intervention Mapping protocol to develop a kindergarten‐based, family‐involved intervention to increase European preschool children's physical activity levels: the ToyBox‐study. Obesity Reviews, 15(S3), 14-26.

Heinen, M., Borm, G., van der Vleuten, C., Evers, A., Oostendorp, R., & van Achterberg, T. (2012). The Lively Legs self-management programme increased physical activity and reduced wound days in leg ulcer patients: Results from a randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 49(2), 151-161.

Hurley, D. A., Murphy, L. C., Hayes, D., Hall, A. M., Toomey, E., McDonough, S. M., ... & Matthews, J. (2016). Using intervention mapping to develop a theory-driven, group-based complex intervention to support self-management of osteoarthritis and low back pain (SOLAS). Implementation Science, 11(1), 1.

Koekkoek, B., van Meijel, B., Schene, A., & Hutschemaekers, G. (2010). Development of an intervention program to increase effective behaviours by patients and clinicians in psychiatric services: Intervention Mapping study. BMC Health Services Research, 10(1), 293.

Kok, G., Lo, S. H., Peters, G. J. Y., & Ruiter, R. A. (2011). Changing energy-related behavior: An Intervention Mapping approach. Energy Policy, 39(9), 5280-5286.

Lloyd, J. J., Logan, S., Greaves, C. J., & Wyatt, K. M. (2011). Evidence, theory and context-using intervention mapping to develop a school-based intervention to prevent obesity in children. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8(1), 1.

McEachan, R. R., Lawton, R. J., Jackson, C., Conner, M., & Lunt, J. (2008). Evidence, theory and context: using intervention mapping to develop a worksite physical activity intervention. BMC Public Health, 8(1), 326.

Said, L., Schneider, F., Kremers, S. P. J., & Gubbels, J. S. (2021). Application of the Intervention Mapping Protocol to Develop Sahtak bi Sahnak, a School-Based Intervention to Prevent Pediatric Obesity among Lebanese Adolescents. Health Psychology Bulletin, 5(1), 20–38. DOI:

Ten Hoor, G. A., Kok, G., Rutten, G. M., Ruiter, R. A. C., Kremers, S. P. J., Schols, A. M. J. W., & Plasqui, G. (2016). The Dutch ‘Focus on Strength’intervention study protocol: programme design and production, implementation and evaluation plan. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 1.

van Stralen, M. M., de Vries, H., Mudde, A. N., Bolman, C., & Lechner, L. (2009). The working mechanisms of an environmentally tailored physical activity intervention for older adults: a randomized controlled trial.International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 6(1), 1.

Using theory in health promotion

DiClemente, R. J., Salazar, L. F., & Crosby, R. A. (2013). Health behavior theory for public health. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.[google books]

Glanz, K. Rimer, B. K., & Viswanath, K. (2015). Health behavior: Theory, research, and practice (5th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. [full 2008 edition]

Glanz, K., & Bishop, D. B. (2010). The role of behavioral science theory in development and implementation of public health interventions. Annual Review of Public Health, 31, 399-418.

Another page titled, Theories of Change

Related pages on

Logic Models

The determinants of health behaviour

The importance of habit