The co-creative development process of an integrated mHealth self-compassion intervention for people with newly diagnosed cancer

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Objective. A diagnosis of cancer often has a tremendous impact on the life of cancer patients. Our prior pilot work demonstrated that cancer patients and oncology nurses describe the need for an accessible intervention that strengthens patients’ coping and resilience during the first months after diagnosis. Self-compassion, a way of responding to difficulties with kindness and wise, caring action, appears a relevant resource. This overall project aims to develop a low-threshold integrated mHealth self-compassion intervention (i.e., smartphone app) for newly diagnosed cancer patients while this study addresses the challenges of the development process.
Methods. A co-creative design approach is used to design in line with patients’ needs and the care context. The ongoing design process consists of 7 co-creative workshop rounds. In the workshops, 6 patients and 3 nurses participate in co-design exercises that explore their general needs and the specific requirements of the app. Data were collected on barriers and facilitators around coping with the diagnosis, evaluations of (self-)compassion exercises, and wishes regarding the content and structure of the app. Findings from the workshops were then integrated with top-down input, such as evidence-based literature on (self-)compassion interventions.
Results. Development challenges include integrating top-down and bottom-up input in the case of conflicting information, balancing different needs among participants, and basing the intervention on traditional evidence-based interventions while making use of the novel possibilities of mHealth technology.
Conclusion. Challenges regarding the co-creative development process of an mHealth self-compassion intervention predominantly concern merging the various theoretical, technological, and practical requirements.
Period30 Jan 2020
Event title9th Annual Conference of the Association for Researchers in Psychology and health (ARPH) 2020
Event typeConference
Conference number9
OrganiserAssociation for Researchers in Psychology and Health (ARPH)
LocationEgmond aan Zee, NetherlandsShow on map


  • co-design
  • eHealth
  • compassion
  • cancer