The Systematic Development of Nursing Interventions


  • Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by grants F32NR07823 to Dr. Whittemore and RO1NR04009 and R21DK59248 to Dr. Grey.

Dr. Whittemore, Yale University School of Nursing, 100 Church Street South, PO Box 9740, New Haven, CT 06536–0740. E-mail:


Purpose: To propose guidelines for systematic and progressive testing of nursing interventions.

Organizing Framework: The National Institutes of Health has indicated four phases of clinical trials to guide research on treatments and interventions in the health sciences. Several important issues specific to nursing interventions need further clarification to enhance the interpretation of nursing clinical trials: (a) linking problem identification and nursing interventions, (b) articulating the content of interventions, (c) determining the strength and timing of interventions, (d) differentiating between efficacy and effectiveness research, and (e) incorporating multiple perspectives in intervention development.

Conclusions: Systematic and progressive nursing intervention programs of research are needed to address these issues and to enhance the science and practice of nursing.