Using a Modified Intervention Mapping Approach to Develop and Refine a Single-Session Motivational Intervention for Methamphetamine-Using Men Who Have Sex With Men

William A Zule*, Curtis M Coomes, Rhonda Karg, Jennie L Harris, Alex Orr, Wendee M Wechsberg
Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Research Division, RTI§ International, 3040 Cornwallis Rd., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194, USA

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© Zule et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Research Division, RTI International, 3040 Cornwallis Rd., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194, USA; Tel: 919-485-2797; E-mail:


There is an ongoing need for the development and adaptation of behavioral interventions to address behaviors related to acquisition and transmission of infectious diseases and for preventing the onset of chronic diseases. This paper describes the application of an established systematic approach to the development of a behavioral intervention to reduce sexual risk behaviors for HIV among men who have sex with men and who use methamphetamine. The approach includes six steps: (1) a needs assessment; (2) preparing matrices of proximal program objectives; (3) selecting theory-based methods and practical strategies; (4) producing program components and materials; (5) planning for program adoption, implementation, and sustainability; and (6) planning for evaluation. The focus of this article is on the intervention development process; therefore the article does not describe steps 5 and 6. Overall the process worked well, although it had to be adapted to fit the sequence of events associated with a funded research project. This project demonstrates that systematic approaches to intervention development can be applied even in research projects where some of the steps occur during the proposal writing process rather than during the actual project. However, intervention developers must remain flexible and be prepared to adapt the process to the situation. This includes being ready to make choices regarding intervention efficacy versus feasibility and being willing to select the best intervention that is likely to be delivered with available resources rather than an ideal intervention that may not be practical.

Keywords: Intervention development, intervention mapping, motivational interviewing, formative work, methamphetamine..