Innovatively Supporting Teachers' Implementation of School-Based Sex Education: Developing A Web-Based Coaching Intervention From Problem to Solution

Lisette Schutte*, Marieke van den Borne, Gerjo Kok, Suzanne Meijer, Fraukje Ef Mevissen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Full program implementation is crucial for effectiveness but is often overlooked or insufficiently considered during development of behavioral change interventions. For school-based health promotion programs, teachers are key players in program implementation, but teacher support in this phase is mostly limited to technical support and information. To ensure optimal implementation of the Dutch school-based sexual health program Long Live Love, a Web-based coaching website was developed to support teachers in completeness and fidelity of program implementation.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to provide insight into the process of systematic development of a Web-based coaching intervention to support teachers in their implementation of a school-based sexual health program.

METHODS: The intervention mapping (IM) protocol was applied for the development of a theory- and evidence-based intervention. The IM process begins with (1) a needs assessment, followed by (2) the formulation of change objectives, (3) the selection of theory-based intervention methods and practical applications that take the parameters for effectiveness into consideration, (4) integration of practical applications into an organized program, (5) planning for adoption, implementation, and sustainability of the program, and finally, (6) generating an evaluation plan to measure program effectiveness.

RESULTS: Teacher's implementation behavior was characterized by inconsistently selecting parts of the program and not delivering (all) lessons as intended by program developers. Teachers, however, did not perceive this behavior as problematic, revealing the discrepancy between teacher's actual and perceived need for support in delivering Long Live Love lessons with completeness and fidelity. Teachers did, however, acknowledge different difficulties they encountered which could potentially negatively influence the quality of implementation. With the IM protocol, this Web-based coaching intervention was developed based on a concept of unobtrusive coaching, by and for teachers, to bring about change in teachers' implementation behavior.

CONCLUSIONS: This paper provides an example of a Web-based intervention to bring about behavioral change in a target group of intermediaries who lack intrinsic motivation for coaching and who's perceptions differ from their actual problematic behavior. The IM protocol is a useful tool for guiding the scientific development of interventions and making them compatible with the needs and preferences of the target group.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere136
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2016


  • implementation
  • web-based coaching
  • intervention mapping
  • sexual education
  • unobtrusive
  • fidelity
  • teachers


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