Using a six-step co-design model to rapidly respond to cancer carers support and information needs during a global pandemic

Psychooncology. 2023 May;32(5):793-799. doi: 10.1002/pon.6124. Epub 2023 Apr 3.


Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic placed severe strain on cancer carers resulting in an urgent need for information and support.

Methods: The Santin 2019 6-step co-design model was used to rapidly modify an existing online cancer carers resource. Draft content of a COVID-19 module was created via two workshops and six meetings with an expert advisory team (Step 1). This content was then produced into videoed testimonials (Step 2). A module prototype was reviewed by volunteers (Step 3) and modified based on feedback (Step 4). User-testing occurred via two online feedback sessions (Step 5) and modifications were made (Step 6). All steps were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.

Results: A COVID-19 support, and information module was rapidly co-designed by n = 45 stakeholders (n = 11 workshop 1 and 2 (3 carers/14 professionals), n = 6 advisory committee (1 carer/5 professionals), n = 4 video content (1 carer/3 professionals) and n = 24 feedback sessions (5 carers/19 professionals). The module contained vaccination information, infection control and how to manage the psychosocial impact of restrictions. Information was delivered in 4 short videos with links to up-to-date guidance and information services. Participants identified that the module included all key information for carers in an accessible and informative way. The use of videos was viewed as an emotive and reassuring.

Conclusions: During a global pandemic, cancer carers urgently required tailored information. Co-designed online resources allow service providers to rapidly respond to emerging and unprecedented issues and provide urgent information and support.

Keywords: COVID-19; cancer; caregivers; carers; co-design; co-production; e-health; family; online; remote support; support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Humans
  • Information Services
  • Neoplasms* / psychology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Pandemics