Inbal Billie Nahum-Shani, PhD, University of Michigan
Advances in mobile and wireless technologies offer tremendous opportunities for extending the reach and impact of behavioral interventions and for adapting interventions to the unique and changing needs of individuals. However, insufficient engagement remains a critical barrier to the effectiveness of digital interventions. Human delivery of interventions (e.g., by clinical staff) can be more engaging but potentially more expensive and burdensome. Hence, the integration of digital and human-delivered components is critical to building effective and scalable interventions. Here, we introduce the hybrid experimental design (HED)—a new experimental approach that can be used to answer scientific questions about building interventions in which human-delivered and digital components are integrated and adapted on multiple timescales– slow (e.g., every month) and fast (e.g., every minute). We describe the key characteristics of HEDs, explain their scientific rationale, and provide guidelines for their design and corresponding data analysis.