Adaptive Interventions for Health Behavior Change: What, Why and How?

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Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 3, 2016
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Inbal Nahum-Shani
University of Michigan

Research in the area of health behavior change and maintenance has been shifting away from the traditional fixed-intervention approach towards adaptive interventions, which allow greater individualization and adaptation of intervention options (i.e., intervention type, intensity, or mode of delivery) over time. Adaptive interventions specify how intervention options should be adapted to an individual’s characteristics and changing needs, with the general aim of optimizing the effectiveness of the intervention. Here, I will provide an introduction to adaptive interventions, discuss the scientific motivation for these interventions, and their potential contribution to research in the area of health behavior change and maintenance. The Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART) will be discussed as one experimental tool that can help health behavior scientists obtain the empirical evidence necessary for building high quality adaptive interventions. To explain and illustrate these concepts, I will present work in progress in which we seek to develop an adaptive intervention that makes use of technology (internet/mobile) to target at-risk drinking behaviors among young adults who transition from college to work.