Intervention Mapping: Theory- and Evidence-Based Health Promotion Program Planning: Perspective and Examples

Maria E. Fernandez*, Robert A. C. Ruiter, Christine M. Markham, Gerjo Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

90 Citations (Web of Science)


Evidence-informed health intervention planning that incorporates theoretical and empirical evidence and engages key stakeholders and community members or patients in the planning process results in interventions that are more effective. Nevertheless, exactly how and when to use evidence, theory, and community-based participation during planning represents a challenge. In this Perspective, we describe Intervention Mapping (IM), a framework for theory- and evidence-based health promotion program planning that addresses this challenge by providing a systematic and stepwise approach to planning interventions. IM has been used to develop health promotion interventions and implementation strategies in community and clinical settings globally, with over 1000 published articles employing the framework. In this Perspective, we also highlight recent and innovative applications of IM described in the articles of the Frontiers in Public Health Special Topic on IM. We conclude by discussing new directions in the application of IM including novel methods for identifying determinants of behavior and environmental conditions, the application of IM for planning implementation strategies, and IM for adaptation of evidence-based programs in new settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number209
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2019


  • health promotion planning
  • health promotion theory
  • intervention mapping
  • implementation
  • planning frameworks

Cite this