A methodology for describing and decomposing complex psychosocial and behavioral interventions

Psychol Aging. 2003 Sep;18(3):385-95. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.18.3.385.


This article presents a comprehensive conceptual framework and methodology for characterizing multidimensional psychosocial and behavioral interventions for family caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease. The methodology involved conducting a detailed task analysis of the interventions, and the application of the analytical hierarchy process. The authors were able to achieve high levels of consistency and reliability using this methodology to decompose and describe the interventions according to a complex conceptual framework comprising 3 dimensions: target domain, functional domain, and delivery system characteristics. Application of this methodology will enhance the ability to describe and measure interventions consistently, make comparisons across studies, isolate causal factors that achieve desired outcomes, and more generally elevate the science of psychosocial intervention research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Caregivers*
  • Endpoint Determination
  • Family Therapy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Social Support*
  • Terminology as Topic