Translational Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 290–303 | Cite as

Optimizing behavioral health interventions with single-case designs: from development to dissemination

Essay/Opinion Piece


Over the past 70 years, single-case design (SCD) research has evolved to include a broad array of methodological and analytic advances. In this article, we describe some of these advances and discuss how SCDs can be used to optimize behavioral health interventions. Specifically, we discuss how parametric analysis, component analysis, and systematic replications can be used to optimize interventions. We also describe how SCDs can address other features of optimization, which include establishing generality and enabling personalized behavioral medicine. Throughout, we highlight how SCDs can be used during both the development and dissemination stages of behavioral health interventions.


Generality Optimization Research designs Single-case designs 



We wish to thank Paul Soto for comments on a previous draft of this manuscript. Preparation of this paper was supported in part by Grants P30DA029926 and R01DA023469 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Society of Behavioral Medicine 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyRowan UniversityGlassboroUSA

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