Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Diseases | Medical Education | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health


Objective: Given the critical role of behavior in preventing and treating chronic diseases, it is important to accelerate the development of behavioral treatments that can improve chronic disease prevention and outcomes. Findings from basic behavioral and social sciences research hold great promise for addressing behaviorally based clinical health problems, yet there is currently no established pathway for translating fundamental behavioral science discoveries into health-related treatments ready for Phase III efficacy testing. This article provides a systematic framework for developing behavioral treatments for preventing and treating chronic diseases. Method: The Obesity-Related Behavioral Intervention Trials (ORBIT) model for behavioral treatment development features a flexible and progressive process, prespecified clinically significant milestones for forward movement, and return to earlier stages for refinement and optimization. Results: This article presents the background and rationale for the ORBIT model, a summary of key questions for each phase, a selection of study designs and methodologies well-suited to answering these questions, and prespecified milestones for forward or backward movement across phases. Conclusions: The ORBIT model provides a progressive, clinically relevant approach to increasing the number of evidence-based behavioral treatments available to prevent and treat chronic diseases.

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© 2015 American Psychological Association

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