Designing Individual-Level Implementation Strategies

Course Overview

This course focuses on changing health-related behaviors (or practices) of individuals—including providers, patients, and community members—in order to facilitate uptake of evidence-based health interventions. Scholars will be introduced to health behavior change theories across a range of socio-ecological contexts and intervention design frameworks. The emphasis will be on the application of theory and frameworks to 1) selecting behavior change targets; 2) characterizing barriers and enablers of behavior change; and 3) identifying techniques likely to be effective in addressing key barriers and enablers of behavior change. Scholars will apply concepts taught by either 1) developing a conceptual framework and instrument to guide data collection on barriers and enablers of a selected target behavior; or 2) designing an implementation strategy to facilitate uptake of their chosen evidence-based health intervention or program by target individuals. Scholars will also learn to incorporate the conceptual basis for their work into grant applications/funding proposals.

At the end of the course, scholars will be able to:

  • Describe common behavior change theories used to facilitate uptake of health interventions
  • Identify behavioral and contextual determinants that can influence health intervention uptake by individuals using behavior change theories
  • Design, adapt, and/or tailor an implementation strategy that targets key behavioral and contextual determinants using an intervention design framework
  • Create visual representations (e.g., figures and tables) of the logic, functions, and techniques of an implementation strategy to foster individual behavior change.


Clinicians, public health practitioners, and researchers wishing to gain knowledge and skills in translating evidence into practice.

Course Prerequisites
Introduction to Implementation Science Theory and Design. Exceptions to this prerequisite may be made with the consent of the Course Director, space permitting.


Course Director: Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH


  • Margaret Handley
  • Justin White
  • Adithya Cattamanchi
  • Sara Ackerman
  • Courtney Lyles
  • Valy Fontil


  • Cognitive and socio-ecological health behavior change theories
  • Frameworks for the design of effective health behavior change interventions (e.g., Behaviour Change Wheel)
  • Common behavior change tools (e.g., behavioral economics, social marketing)
  • Writing implementation science grants

Course Requirements

Required Readings:
The Behaviour Change Wheel. A Guide To Designing Interventions. Written by Susan Michie, Lou Atkins & Robert West. 2015. Available at Behaviour Change Wheel website.

Recommended: Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice by Karen Glanz. Jossey-Bass. 4th edition. 2008.

Evaluation of student performance will be based on successful completion of assignments for the first 7 weeks and a final 3-5 page protocol or grant proposal section. Completing this course will take an estimated 60 hours of work.

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