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Open Access Research article

Using Intervention Mapping to develop a programme to prevent sexually transmittable infections, including HIV, among heterosexual migrant men

Mireille EG Wolfers12*, Caty van den Hoek1, Johannes Brug2 and Onno de Zwart12

Author Affiliations

1 Municipal Public Health Service Rotterdam Area, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

2 Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:141  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-141

Published: 5 July 2007

Abstract

Background

There is little experience with carefully developed interventions in the HIV/STI prevention field aimed at adult heterosexual target groups in the Netherlands. The ability to apply intervention development protocols, like Intervention Mapping, in daily practice outside of academia, is a matter of concern. An urgent need also exists for interventions aimed at the prevention of STI in migrant populations in the Netherlands. This article describes the theory and evidence based development of HIV/STI prevention interventions by the Municipal Public Health Service Rotterdam Area (MPHS), the Netherlands, for heterosexual migrant men with Surinamese, Dutch-Caribbean, Cape Verdean, Turkish and Moroccan backgrounds.

Methods

First a needs assessment was carried out. Then, a literature review was done, key figures were interviewed and seven group discussions were held. Subsequently, the results were translated into specific objectives ("change objectives") and used in intervention development for two subgroups: men with an Afro-Caribbean background and unmarried men with a Turkish and Moroccan background. A matrix of change objectives was made for each subgroup and suitable theoretical methods and practical strategies were selected. Culturally-tailored interventions were designed and were pre-tested among the target groups.

Results

This development process resulted in two interventions for specific subgroups that were appreciated by both the target groups and the migrant prevention workers. The project took place in collaboration with a university center, which provided an opportunity to get expert advice at every step of the Intervention Mapping process. At relevant points of the development process, migrant health educators and target group members provided advice and feedback on the draft intervention materials.

Conclusion

This intervention development project indicates that careful well-informed intervention development using Intervention Mapping is feasible in the daily practice of the MPHS, provided that sufficient time and expertise on this approach is available. Further research should test the effectiveness of these interventions.