Systematic development and validation of a nursing intervention: the case of lifestyle adherence promotion in patients with leg ulcers

J Adv Nurs. 2011 Mar;67(3):662-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05539.x. Epub 2010 Dec 28.


Aims: To describe and discuss of the added value of systematic development and validation of nursing interventions in nursing care.

Background: An adherence-promoting intervention for leg ulcer patients was developed in 2008, based on the model of van Meijel. This model requires a systematic development using an analysis of patients' (lived) experiences and professionals' views on (good) care. It employs a cyclical process of trying out, evaluating, revising and reassessing the adapted intervention in patients. The intervention consists of information and counselling sessions carried out by tissue viability nurses and focuses on wearing compression hosiery, practising leg elevation, physical activity and performing leg exercises.

Discussion: Exploring patients' and nurses' perspectives during the development of intervention increases the likelihood that the resultant intervention is both feasible and attuned to patients' needs. Various implementation issues were identified during the developmental process. Validation of the intervention through its use in nursing care aids in refining the intervention and in linking the techniques most successful in effecting behavioural change to theoretical constructs. It contributes to the refinement of concepts of behavioural theories by clarifying the processes underlying the intervention's effectiveness. Direct involvement of the researcher in the validation phase has great added value.

Implications for nursing: Patient involvement in intervention development is essential, as is the researcher's direct involvement in practical situations in which the intervention is tested. Qualitative (evaluation) approaches are recommended.

Conclusion: Although the systematic development of nursing interventions is time-consuming, the contribution to the development of nursing practice and nursing science makes it worthwhile.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Belgium
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration
  • Compression Bandages
  • Counseling
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer / nursing*
  • Leg Ulcer / psychology
  • Life Style
  • Models, Nursing*
  • Motivation
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Theory
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Program Development / methods
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Self Efficacy
  • Trust
  • Wound Healing / physiology