Translation as a function of modality: the potential of brief interventions

Eval Health Prof. 2006 Mar;29(1):89-125. doi: 10.1177/0163278705284444.


The purpose of this article is to examine the potential of brief intervention (BI) as a modality for translating health behavior intervention research into practice. We discuss common definitions of BI, applications within common models of translation research, effects of BI on a range of health behaviors and across various populations, current and potential mechanisms, and uses for dissemination to practice. A number of advantages of BI suggest they are well suited for translating behavioral research. In addition, findings from 13 systematic reviews of BI effects show their potential versatility. Basic research on motivation, decision making, and persuasion may be applied to the design of BIs (Type 1 translation). Suggestions for translating BI research into practice are discussed (Type 2 translation). The article concludes that efforts to use BIs to translate research into practice are currently underdeveloped. Recommendations are provided for using BI in translating research into practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Personnel / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / organization & administration*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy