Table 2

Designing interventions in group settings

What is the intervention and what quantity will be delivered?

○ The group itself as the intervention

○ The group leader delivers the intervention

○ The group as a vehicle for delivering the intervention to a wider population

○ The group size, frequency, duration and lifetime

How does someone become a group member?

○ Are there gatekeepers and how do they operate

○ Self or professional referral, with or without criteria

○ Advertising: general or targeted

○ Access to attend meetings: open (anyone can drop in and out of attending meetings); closed (membership registration on attendance, in advance or for a fixed period)

○ Access during a group meeting: open (drop in and out); closed (fixed start and finish)

○ Barriers, facilitators and entry rituals

○ Incentives and costs (financial and non financial) - joining, recurring, optional, refundable

What social and behaviour theories inform the intervention?

○ Education: factual, tacit or experiential knowledge

○ Support: for a specific behaviour, attitude or belief

○ Cognitive approaches: to change thinking about a behaviour

○ Performing a behaviour or activity

○ Rewarding a behaviour or group attendance

○ Competition between groups or group members

How are the group influencing attitudes, beliefs and behaviours? For example:

○ Social comparison theory

○ Social support theory

○ Social learning theory

○ Social impact theory

What are the outcomes?

○ Initiate or sustain a desired behaviour

○ Reduce, stop or prevent a relapse of an undesirable behaviour

○ Substitute a desirable for an undesirable behaviour

○ Change how an existing behaviour is enacted

○ Change attitudes or beliefs which might predict or mediate a behaviour e.g. self-efficacy

What is the target population for intervention delivery and outcome measurement?

○ Who is targeted? People with specific behaviours, socio-demographic characteristics or diseases; from particular geographic areas or organisations

○ Whose outcomes will be measured? Individual group attenders, pooled group outcomes, wider population

Hoddinott et al. BMC Public Health 2010 10:800   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-800

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