Adapting a peer-led self-management program for breast cancer survivors in Switzerland using a co-creative approach

Patient Educ Couns. 2020 Sep;103(9):1780-1789. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2020.03.028. Epub 2020 Apr 17.


Objective: The peer-led Cancer Thriving and Surviving Program (CTS) has demonstrated improved health outcomes for cancer survivors. We describe a co-creative process for adapting the CTS for breast cancer survivors in Switzerland and integrating the program into the clinical pathway of Swiss breast centers.

Methods: A co-creative approach was employed. Breast cancer survivors and health care professionals (total n = 81) participated in three workshops, an online rating, and a consensus conference. An iterative cycle (evidence, ideas, refining, rating, and synthesis) guided the adaptation process.

Results: Survivors involvement in the adaptation process allowed to tailor the self-management program to the psychosocial needs identified as the highest priority. New contents "Being a woman", "Breast cancer and my (working) life" and "My exercise" were added to the CTS. Program duration was expanded from 6 to 7 weeks. Transition to follow-up care was considered as the optimal time point for program integration into the clinical pathway.

Conclusion: The co-creative process may serve as a model in adapting supportive interventions for cancer. A subsequent pilot testing examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy.

Practice implications: Combining expertise of health care professionals and patients to co-create a peer-led breast cancer self-management program may enhance acceptability and adoption.

Keywords: breast cancer; cancer survivorship; co-creation; peer-led; self-management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / rehabilitation
  • Cancer Survivors / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Peer Group
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Self-Management
  • Switzerland