An intervention mapping adaptation framework to develop a self-help intervention for athletes with eating disorder symptoms
Objective: This research forum describes the use of the intervention mapping for adaptation (IMA) framework to develop and evaluate a novel intervention for athletes with mild eating disorder (ED) symptoms.
Methods: The six IMA steps were followed. In step 1 (needs assessment), we conducted a systematic review of athlete ED interventions and held interviews/focus groups with athletes and sports professionals to inform intervention format and delivery. In step 2 (intervention search), needs assessment information guided the search for an evidence-based intervention suitable for adaptation to athletes. In steps 3 and 4 (intervention development), the identified intervention was adapted and feedback sought from athletes and sport professionals. In steps 5 and 6 (implementation and evaluation), a feasibility study was conducted with athletes (n = 35; females: n = 27; Mage = 27.1).
Results: The review highlighted poor evidence for the acceptability and relative efficacy of existing interventions, which were all delivered face-to-face in groups. Interview/focus group data suggested a need for more accessible intervention formats (e.g., self-help). One non-athlete self-help intervention was determined suitable for adaptation to athletes, and adaptations were made. Initial feedback suggested the adapted intervention was relevant within sport settings. The feasibility study revealed that the intervention (MOPED-A: Motivational and Psycho-Educational Self-Help Programme for Athletes with Mild Eating Disorder Symptoms) can be feasibly implemented, is acceptable to athletes and shows potential for reducing ED symptoms.
Discussion: IMA is a useful framework for developing participant-centered and evidence-based interventions. The findings and approach taken provide a framework for other researchers and clinicians in developing similar interventions in the ED domain.
Public Significance: The novel self-help intervention described in this article was developed using intervention mapping and provides promise as a tool for reducing eating disorder symptoms in athletes. We describe how adopting and systematically following a health intervention development approach, such as intervention mapping, can ensure that eating disorder interventions are participant-centered, contextually relevant, and evidence-based, which in turn could help to maximize their reach and effectiveness.
NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Published inInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Authors
Publisher statementThis is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.