Developing Behavior ChangeInterventions for Self-Managementin Chronic Illness


European Psychologist(2019),24(1), 7–25  DOI:

Vera Araújo-Soares, Nelli Hankonen, Justin Presseau, Angela Rodrigues, and Falko F. Sniehotta



More people than ever are living longer with chronic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Behavior change for effective self-management can improve health outcomes and quality of life in people living with such chronic illnesses. The science of developing behavior change interventions with impact for patients aims to optimize the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of interventions and rigorous evaluation of outcomes and processes of behavior change. The development of new services and technologies offers opportunities to enhance the scope of delivery of interventions to support behavior change and self-management at scale. Herein, we review key contemporary approaches to intervention development, provide a critical overview, and integrate these approaches into a pragmatic, user-friendly framework to rigorously guide decision-making in behavior change intervention development. Moreover, we highlight novel emerging methods for rapid and agile intervention development. On-going progress in the science of intervention development is needed to remain in step with such new developments and to continue to leverage behavioral science’s capacity to contribute to optimizing interventions, modify behavior, and facilitate self-management in individuals living with chronic illness.