Design your intervention activities

  • Consider your intervention strategies

Think about what you want people to receive from the supportive relationships and how you would like them to respond.  For example, you may want people to feel more encouraged in their efforts to change lifestyles.  You may also work with your partners to decide what changes are feasible based upon the amount of political and/or community support and available funding. 

These interventions are most effective when characteristics of your population are taken into consideration (see Assessment and Prioritization).  This may require you to spend time in your population building relationships with people within the community.  People within the population can help you identify the community’s readiness to change as well as specific behaviors and outcomes that your intervention should address.

Example supportive relationship intervention strategies have included (go to Tools and Resources for Tobacco Supportive Relationships to see how these have been used):

  • Providing a variety of culturally appropriate options and being mindful of the types of social support (informational, tangible, appraisal) that might be helpful.
  • Using a variety of recruitment strategies (e.g., identifying worksites through random identification of parents of school children).
  • Creating materials (e.g., booklets) and processes (e.g., classes) to encourage families to reinforce and provide tangible assistance in creating lifestyle changes.
  • Creating a lay health advisor manual and training to provide increased support for tobacco prevention and cessation.
  • Developing self-help groups with role modeling of various behaviors and buddy systems to encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors and share challenges.
  • Providing telephone support for tobacco prevention and cessation and/or to provide support for caregivers of those who cannot quit their tobacco use alone.
  • Creating a directory of tobacco use and related programs (e.g., nutrition and physical activity) available in the community.
  • Sending information and resources to participants’ family members or friends providing tips on how to offer support for preventing and quitting tobacco use.
  • Developing booklets with tips to encourage community support for tobacco prevention.
  • Encouraging pastors, health ministers, or other faith-based representatives to educate their members about the risks associated with tobacco use.
  • Design your intervention objectives

By starting with defining your objectives you can determine what it is you want your participants to get from your intervention. You can then develop action steps that will help you accomplish these objectives.  Action steps generally include activities like providing your participants with tangible support or reinforcement and encouragement (emotional support) for healthy lifestyle changes.  Once you have developed your action steps, you can begin your intervention.  There are many creative ideas for different sessions and activities. Go to Tools and Resources for Tobacco Supportive Relationships to see examples of what others have used.

  • Create a timeline and assign roles and responsibilities

Work with your partners to decide on the timeline for the intervention as well as who will be responsible for carrying out the intervention activities. Be very specific about roles, tasks, and timelines to ensure that the intervention is implemented successfully. Include information about when your intervention will begin and who will be responsible for each activity.

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