Multiple segment factorial vignettes in family health interventions

Marilyn J. Coleman, Lawrence H. Ganong, Jacquelyn J. Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose – Older adults and their families, geriatricians and gerontological practitioners, other health care providers, and social policy makers are invested in finding ways to prevent health and safety problems so that older adults can remain in their homes safely and independently. Family life education and problem-prevention programs designed for older adults are cost-effective ways of trying to avoid or prevent problems before they occur. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the use of multiple segment factorial vignettes as an educational method to promote safety and health. Design – Multiple segment factorial vignettes (MSFVs) are short stories comprised of two to five separate segments. In research, MSFVs have been used to study attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors. MSFVs also have potential for use in interventions with individuals, couples, and families. We present an example of the use of MSFVs in an intervention project in which we taught the family members and friends of older adults who lived alone how to use MSFVs in collaborative problemsolving with older adults about maintaining their independence safely in their homes. The MSFV method was easily learned by project participants, readily individualized to fit the situations of older individuals, and the participants enjoyed using them. Findings – MSFVs were effective in changing behaviors and cognitions of older adults. Value – We present issues to consider for practitioners who want to develop and utilize MSFVs in interventions. Examples of MSFVs as interventions are presented and limitations to MSFVs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-305
Number of pages21
JournalContemporary Perspectives in Family Research
StatePublished - 2014


  • Family interventions
  • Older adults


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiple segment factorial vignettes in family health interventions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this