Intervention Intensity: Overview

Information about how to calculate intervention intensity

"To date, the average amount of intervention required to treat a mild or mild-to-moderate phonological impairment in a child from time of referral to time of dismissal is unknown."

Williams et al. (2010, p.59).

"This lack of consistency and precision in determining what is and what is not intense not only complicates the task of comparing, contrasting, and discussing research on the intensity of intervention, but adds to the challenge of establishing an optimal intensity."

Baker (2012b, p.482)

Calculating intervention intensity

(Adapted from Warren et al. 2007)

When planning intervention intensity, Warren et al. (2007) state that four variables should be considered:

  1. Dose: the number of teaching episodes per session (including session length)
  2. Dose form: the therapy activity in which the teaching episodes occur
  3. Dose frequency: how often intervention sessions are provided  (e.g. per week/month etc.)
  4. Total intervention duration: the time over which an intervention is provided (e.g. total number of sessions)

Using these variables, you can calculate the total amount of intervention provided (i.e., cumulative intervention intensity):

Dose × Dose frequency × Total intervention duration = Cumulative intervention intensity

You can also calculate how often targets are elicited per session (i.e., the dose rate):

Dose ÷ Session length = Dose rate


Natalie Hegarty - Intervention intensity record sheet