Designing adaptive intensive interventions using methods from engineering

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2014 Oct;82(5):868-78. doi: 10.1037/a0037736.


Objective: Adaptive intensive interventions are introduced, and new methods from the field of control engineering for use in their design are illustrated.

Method: A detailed step-by-step explanation of how control engineering methods can be used with intensive longitudinal data to design an adaptive intensive intervention is provided. The methods are evaluated via simulation.

Results: Simulation results illustrate how the designed adaptive intensive intervention can result in improved outcomes with less treatment by providing treatment only when it is needed. Furthermore, the methods are robust to model misspecification as well as the influence of unobserved causes.

Conclusions: These new methods can be used to design adaptive interventions that are effective yet reduce participant burden.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Engineering
  • Humans
  • Mathematical Computing
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Psychotropic Drugs