• evidence-based practice;
  • nursing interventions;
  • theory development;
  • problem analysis;
  • needs;
  • randomized controlled trials

Background.  The call for evidence-based practice presents numerous challenges to nurses who are responsible for developing interventions and expanding the associated knowledge base. The challenge is compounded because there is limited literature concerning development of interventions and their evidence base.

Aim.  The purpose of this article is to present a model that has been successfully used to guide the process of developing and testing complex nursing interventions, especially those in which the experience of the client plays an important role.

Discussion.  The model consists of four stages: problem definition, accumulation of building blocks for intervention design, intervention design and intervention validation. Each stage is described and examples from research studies are presented. Specific attention is given to the manner in which the model allows for the accumulation of empirical evidence and theory development during the development process.

Conclusions.  Use of the model could facilitate effective communication among nurses, researchers and educators when discussing the development and testing of nursing interventions.