Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAI)

Behavioral interventions for prevention and treatment are an important part of the fight against drug abuse and conditions such as HIV/AIDS and mental illness. Among the challenges faced by scientists is how and when to alter the course of treatment for participants in the intervention. Adaptive interventions (also known as “adaptive treatment strategies” or “dynamic treatment regimens”) change based on what is best for the patient at that time.

Just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) are a special type of adaptive intervention where, thanks to mobile technology like activity sensors and smartphones, an intervention can be delivered in every day life, when and where it is needed.

Technically speaking, an adaptive intervention is a sequence of decision rules that specify how the intensity or type of treatment should change depending on the patient’s needs. Researchers are developing data-analytic methods for constructing decision rules that allow researchers to build better JITAIs and adaptive interventions.

Introduction to Just-In-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAIs) in mHealth, 1 & 1 Webinar sponsored by the Methodology Center PSU


Portions of this content and the related scientific research were funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse awards P50 DA039838 and P50 DA010075


Boruvka, A., Almirall, D., Witkiewitz, K., Murphy, S. A. (2018). Assessing time-varying causal effect moderation in mobile health, Journal of the American Statistical Association. Accepted author version posted online: 31 Mar 2017 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01621459.2017.1305274. PMCID: PMC6241330.

Klasnja, P., Hekler, E.B., Shiffman, S., Boruvka, A., Almirall, D., Tewari, A. and Murphy, S. A. (2015). Micro-randomized trials: An experimental design for developing just-in-time adaptive interventions, Health Psychology. Vol 34(Suppl):1220-1228. doi: 10.1037/hea0000305. PubMed PMID: 26651463; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4732571

Nahum-Shani, I., Smith, S. N. Spring, B. J., Collins, L. M., Witkiewitz, K., Tewari, A., & Murphy, S. A. (2018). Just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) in mobile health: Key components and design principles for ongoing health behavior support. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. May 18;52(6):446-462. doi:10.1007/s12160-016-9830-8, PMCID: PMC5364076

Smith, S. S., Lee, A.J., Hall, K., Seewald, N.J., Boruvka, A., Murphy, S. A. and Klasnja, P., Design lessons from a micro-randomized pilot study in mobile health, (2017) Mobile Health Sensors, Analytic Methods, and Applications, Springer International Publishing AG 2017, J.M. Rehg et al. (eds.), DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-51394-2_4, pgs. 59-82.