Guidance on selecting a translational framework for intervention development: Optimizing interventions for impact

Kate Guastaferro, Angela F. Pfammatter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Intervention development frameworks offer the behavioral sciences a systematic and rigorous empirical process to guide the translation of basic science into practice in pursuit of desirable public health and clinical outcomes. The multiple frameworks that have emerged share a goal of optimization during intervention development and can increase the likelihood of arriving at an effective and disseminable intervention. Yet, the process of optimizing an intervention differs functionally and conceptually across frameworks, creating confusion and conflicting guidance on when and how to optimize. This paper seeks to facilitate the use of translational intervention development frameworks by providing a blueprint for selecting and using a framework by considering the process of optimization as conceptualized by each. First, we operationalize optimization and contextualize its role in intervention development. Next, we provide brief overviews of three translational intervention development frameworks (ORBIT, MRC, and MOST), identifying areas of overlap and divergence thereby aligning core concepts across the frameworks to improve translation. We offer considerations and concrete use cases for investigators seeking to identify and use a framework in their intervention development research. We push forward an agenda of a norm to use and specify frameworks in behavioral science to support a more rapid translational pipeline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere119
JournalJournal of Clinical and Translational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 11 2023


  • behavior change
  • intervention development
  • MOST
  • MRC
  • Optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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