Public Health Intervention Wheel

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the most widely used framework for public health nursing with the Public Health Intervention Wheel. 

By Alex King on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a Public Health Intervention Wheel template?

The Public Health Intervention Wheel identifies 17 public health practitioner interventions at three levels: individual-based, population-based, and systems-based. 

These interventions form a comprehensive framework to guide public health professionals in planning and implementing interventions to improve population health. Developed by the Minnesota Department of Health, this tool visualizes the various strategies and approaches available to address public health issues. 

This model emphasizes the importance of collaboration and a multi-faceted approach to public health challenges. Public health professionals can use the Intervention Wheel to systematically assess, plan, and implement interventions at different levels, ensuring a comprehensive and evidence-based approach.

By incorporating various strategies, such as education campaigns, policy changes, and environmental modifications, the wheel enables practitioners to tailor interventions to specific community needs. The Public Health Intervention Wheel ultimately serves as a practical guide for promoting health and preventing diseases within populations, reflecting a holistic and dynamic perspective on public health practice.

Public Health Intervention Wheel Template

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Public Health Intervention Wheel Example

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How does it work?

The public health wheel is divided into 16 wedges, with only the 17th intervention (case finding) in the inner circle. 

The outermost circles, systems and community-focused, encompass 16 of the 17 interventions, while the innermost circle, individual-focused, encompasses 15 of the 17 interventions.  

Additionally, two interventions are not shown in the inner circle. These are “coalition-building” and “community organizing”, as these interventions can not be implemented at the individual level.

As well as the levels of focus, the interventions are divided by color into similar interventions. These are:

  • Red - surveillance, disease and other health investigation, outreach, screening, case finding, 
  • Green- referral and follow-up, case management, delegated functions, 
  • Blue- health teaching, consultation, counseling, 
  • Orange- collaboration, coalition building, community organizing,
  • Yellow- advocacy, social marketing, and policy development and enforcement.

When would you use this template?

The Public Health Intervention Wheel is valuable for many public health practitioners, including epidemiologists, health educators, policymakers, community organizers, and healthcare providers. 

Epidemiologists may use it to design and implement strategies for controlling disease outbreaks, while health educators can employ it to develop targeted health promotion campaigns. Policymakers may find the wheel helpful in crafting evidence-based policies, and community organizers can utilize it to mobilize and engage communities in health initiatives. Healthcare providers may integrate it into clinical practice to enhance preventive care. 

The versatility of the Public Health Intervention Wheel makes it applicable across various disciplines within the public health sector, fostering collaboration and ensuring a comprehensive approach to address communities' complex challenges. Its utility spans from local health departments to international organizations, serving as a guide for practitioners committed to improving population health outcomes.

What are the benefits of this template?

Widely used resource

This template has been widely adopted across the United States to define the scope of practice of public health nurses. As such, incorporating this model into your practice will ensure you deliver a service comparable to your colleagues and maintain a consistent service delivery across your teams.

Full-color hand-out

This template keeps the same colors used in previous versions of the Public Health Intervention Wheel Template, helping avoid confusion and providing you with a clearly formatted template. 

Standardise position descriptions

Utilize this template to standardize your position descriptions the next time you are advertising for a public health nursing position or when you need to pin down the scope of practice for you or your employees.

Use the latest version of this resource

This template is based on the latest version of the Public Health Intervention Wheel, which was reviewed in 2019 (Schaffer and Strohschein, 2019). This publication provides a wealth of evidence-based additions to the intervention wheel model and represents the latest update to the model. 

Keep digital

Finally, this version of the intervention wheel can be shared and stored digitally, allowing for better data security and accessibility. 


Keller, L. O., Strohschein, S., Lia‐Hoagberg, B., & Schaffer, M. A. (2004). Population‐Based Public Health Interventions: Practice‐Based and Evidence‐Supported. Part I. Public Health Nursing, 21(5), 453–468.

Schaffer, M., & Strohschein, S. (2004). Public health interventions: Applications for public health nursing practice Second edition.

Schaffer, M., Strohschein, S., & Glavin, K. (2021). Twenty years with the public health intervention wheel: Evidence for practice. Public Health Nursing, 39, 195–201.

Who created the Public Health Intervention Wheel template?
Who created the Public Health Intervention Wheel template?

Commonly asked questions

Who created the Public Health Intervention Wheel template?

The Public Nursing section in the Minnesota Department of Health developed the original Public Health Intervention Wheel in 1998. Since then, the model has been widely disseminated and updated in 2004 and, most recently, in 2019.

Who uses Public Health Intervention Wheel templates?

Public health nurses predominantly use this Public Health Intervention Wheel as a tool for setting the framework of public health nursing practice, teaching the scope of public health nursing, and communicating the roles of public nurses.

How do I use the Public Health Intervention Wheel template?

The Public Health Intervention Wheel can be used in many ways to educate, communicate, or inform. 

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