Intervention mapping: a process for developing theory- and evidence-based health education programs

Health Educ Behav. 1998 Oct;25(5):545-63. doi: 10.1177/109019819802500502.


The practice of health education involves three major program-planning activities: needs assessment, program development, and evaluation. Over the past 20 years, significant enhancements have been made to the conceptual base and practice of health education. Models that outline explicit procedures and detailed conceptualization of community assessment and evaluation have been developed. Other advancements include the application of theory to health education and promotion program development and implementation. However, there remains a need for more explicit specification of the processes by which one uses theory and empirical findings to develop interventions. This article presents the origins, purpose, and description of Intervention Mapping, a framework for health education intervention development. Intervention Mapping is composed of five steps: (1) creating a matrix of proximal program objectives, (2) selecting theory-based intervention methods and practical strategies, (3) designing and organizing a program, (4) specifying adoption and implementation plans, and (5) generating program evaluation plans.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Forecasting
  • Health Education / trends*
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Health Planning Guidelines*
  • Humans