Specifying who delivers behaviour change interventions: development of an Intervention Source Ontology
Wellcome Open Research
Identifying how behaviour change interventions are delivered, including by whom, is key to understanding intervention effectiveness. However, information about who delivers interventions is reported inconsistently in intervention evaluations, limiting communication and knowledge accumulation. This paper reports a method for consistent reporting: The Intervention Source Ontology. This forms one part of the Behaviour Change Intervention Ontology, which aims to cover all aspects of behaviour
... of behaviour change interventions. Methods: The Intervention Source Ontology was developed following methods for ontology development and maintenance used in the Human Behaviour-Change Project, with seven key steps: 1) define the scope of the ontology, 2) identify key entities and develop their preliminary definitions by reviewing existing classification systems (top-down) and reviewing 100 behaviour change intervention reports (bottom-up), 3) refine the ontology by piloting the preliminary ontology on 100 reports, 4) stakeholder review by 34 behavioural science and public health experts, 5) inter-rater reliability testing of annotating intervention reports using the ontology, 6) specify ontological relationships between entities and 7) disseminate and maintain the Intervention Source Ontology. Results: The Intervention Source Ontology consists of 140 entities. Key areas of the ontology include Occupational Role of Source, Relatedness between Person Source and the Target Population, Sociodemographic attributes and Expertise. Inter-rater reliability was found to be 0.60 for those familiar with the ontology and 0.59 for those unfamiliar with it, levels of agreement considered 'acceptable'. Conclusions: Information about who delivers behaviour change interventions can be reliably specified using the Intervention Source Ontology. For human-delivered interventions, the ontology can be used to classify source characteristics in existing behaviour change reports and enable clearer specification of intervention sources in reporting.