8 Tips for Developing Preventive Interventions for Children Exposed to Acute Medical Events

This is a guest post by Dr. Meghan Marsac. Meghan is a behavioral researcher and the Director of Training at the Center for Injury Research & Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Meghan has recently led the development of Coping Coach, a web-based video game for children experiencing acute traumatic stress, and The Cellie Coping Kit, a toolkit for children with chronic diseases and their families.    

As a field, we have made significant progress in developing models and identifying key risk factors associated with the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children who experience  acute medical traumatic events (see these key publications). Additionally, we have given much attention to the evaluation of preventive interventions. For example, our team has recently evaluated After The Injury, a web-based intervention for parents of injured children.

However, a standard process for the development of preventive interventions is less clear, and therefore this post provides you with some starting points. Below is a list of tips to consider and questions to ask when beginning to develop a new preventive intervention:

1. Identify the problem and purpose of the intervention

  • What is the problem that needs addressed? 
  • What specific behaviors are the focus of the intervention? Continue reading