Designing Individual-Level Implementation Strategies

Winter 2023 (2 units)

This course focuses on developing theory-informed approaches to understanding and changing health-related behaviors (or practices), focusing primarily on individuals—including providers, patients, and community members—in order to facilitate uptake of evidence-based health interventions. Students will also learn about areas where health behavior change theories focused on individuals can be combined with those that target environmental/contextual, organizational and systems levels. Course instruction focuses on the application of theory and frameworks to students’ own areas of research in order to: 1) select behavior change targets; 2) characterize barriers and enablers of behavior change; and 3) identify techniques likely to be effective in addressing key barriers and enablers of behavior change for a specific behavior and context.


The objectives for this course are for participants to:

  • Describe common behavior change theories used to facilitate uptake of health interventions;
  • Identify behavioral and contextual determinants that can influence health intervention uptake by individuals using behavior change theories;
  • Design, adapt, and/or tailor an implementation strategy that targets key behavioral and contextual determinants using an intervention design framework; and
  • Create visual representations (e.g., figures and tables) of the logic, functions, and techniques of an implementation strategy to foster individual behavior change


Designing Clinical Research (EPI 202). Exceptions to this prerequisite may be made with the consent of the Course Director, space permitting.


Course Co-Director:

Emilia De Marchis, MD

​​​​​​Assistant Professor, Department of  Family Community Medicine
email: [email protected]

Course Co-Director:

Matthew Spinelli, MD, MAS

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
email: [email protected]


Weekly course content will be delivered via video lectures, case studies, and readings through the course CLE website. Students will post weekly assignments in online discussion forums, and provide/receive feedback through the online discussion forums and weekly in-person small group discussion sessions facilitated by course faculty.



  1. The Behaviour Change Wheel. A Guide To Designing Interventions. by Michie S, et al. Silverback Publishing. 2015.
  2. Theory at a Glance: A Guide for Health Promotion Practice. US Dept Health and Human Services, NIH, 2005.

Books may be purchased either through the publisher or a variety of commercial venues (e.g.,

Additional required readings will be posted on the course website.


Evaluation of student performance will be based on successful completion of weekly homework assignments and a final project, as well as participation in an online discussion forum and in-person small group sessions. To pass the course, learners must:

  • Post weekly assignments in the online discussion forums by the designated due date and time in 8 of 10 weeks;
  • Attend and participate in at least 8 of the 10 in-person weekly small group discussion sessions;
  • Provide thoughtful feedback via the online discussion forums to at least two others regarding their weekly assignments by the designated due date and time in 8 of 10 weeks; and
  • Submit a final completed assignment by the designated due date and time at the end of the course.

To Enroll

ATCR and MAS students use the Student Portal

All other students can find registration information on the Implementation Science website.