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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Using Cocreation in the Process of Designing a Smartphone App for Adolescents and Young Adults With Cancer: Prototype Development Study

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BACKGROUND: Adolescent and young adult (AYA) oncology and hematology is a developing field of medicine, focusing on a population that faces many challenges throughout medical treatment and beyond. Mobile health (mHealth) interventions provide exciting new opportunities for improvement of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in AYAs with cancer. Many smartphone apps are currently available for AYAs with cancer; however, for AYAs with cancer, very few apps have been designed with direct input from AYAs themselves or have demonstrated their effectiveness and benefit.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this project was to develop the prototype of a smartphone app for AYAs with cancer through the process of cocreation, with the active input of AYAs who have received treatment for cancer directly impacting content and design.

METHODS: Patients were recruited from a population of Danish AYAs who had received treatment for cancer between the ages of 15 and 29 years. The cocreation process was completed over the course of 3 workshops and intermittent ad hoc meetings, where the recruited AYAs worked in coordination with 1 nurse, 1 doctor, and 2 representatives from a digital agency and app developer. During each workshop, participants prioritized their goals for the app. After new app content was developed, feedback was requested from the participants, and changes were made accordingly. This iterative process continued until consensus on final product features and design were achieved. Health care professionals provided minimal input and primarily performed observational roles in the workshops, with direct interaction limited to introducing the project and explaining measurement features of the app in development.

RESULTS: Three key features to be included in the prototype app were identified from the cocreation workshops: (1) a community forum; (2) an information library; and (3) a symptom and side-effect tracking tool. Bright, warm colors were selected for the app by the participating AYAs. The final prototype will be launched for pilot testing and implementation testing in February of 2018.

CONCLUSIONS: The process of cocreation is a user-involved process that can create an end product that is useful and customized for the target population. This process, as such, is a beneficial process to utilize when addressing the specific needs of AYAs with cancer. The results of the here described app prototype will be evaluated in more detail in the near future. However, this description of the cocreation process in app development can be utilized for the creation of other mHealth interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJMIR research protocols
Volume2
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)e23
ISSN1929-0748
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

ID: 56425744