Finding theory‐ and evidence‐based alternatives to fear appeals: Intervention Mapping

Gerjo Kok, L. Kay Bartholomew, Guy S. Parcel, Nell H. Gottlieb, María E. Fernández
Published Online:
02 Oct 2013
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 49 Issue 2

Additional Options

Fear arousal—vividly showing people the negative health consequences of life‐endangering behaviors—is popular as a method to raise awareness of risk behaviors and to change them into health‐promoting behaviors. However, most data suggest that, under conditions of low efficacy, the resulting reaction will be defensive. Instead of applying fear appeals, health promoters should identify effective alternatives to fear arousal by carefully developing theory‐ and evidence‐based programs. The Intervention Mapping (IM) protocol helps program planners to optimize chances for effectiveness. IM describes the intervention development process in six steps: (1) assessing the problem and community capacities, (2) specifying program objectives, (3) selecting theory‐based intervention methods and practical applications, (4) designing and organizing the program, (5) planning, adoption, and implementation, and (6) developing an evaluation plan. Authors who used IM indicated that it helped in bringing the development of interventions to a higher level.

© 2013 The Authors. International Journal of Psychology published by John Wiley © Sons Ltd on behalf of International Union of Psychological Science