Our new publication entitled: Lessons learned about co-creation: developing a complex intervention in rural Peru, at Global Health Action, can be found in the following link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16549716.2020.1754016
Background: Co-creation is the process of involving stakeholders in the development of interventions. Although co-creation is becoming more widespread, reports of the process and lessons learned are scarce.
Objective: To describe the process and lessons learned from using the COHESION manual, a co-creation methodology to develop interventions aimed at the improvement of diagnosis and/or management of chronic diseases at the primary healthcare level in a low-resource setting in Peru.
Methods: Observational study to describe the use of the COHESION manual ‘Moving from Research to Interventions: The COHESION Model’ developed for a multi-country project in low- and middle-income countries for co-creation and the adaptations needed to customize it to the local context of rural communities in northern Peru.
Results: The actual process of co-creation in Peru included co-creation-related questions in the formative research; an initial consultation with stakeholders at the micro, meso, and macro levels (e.g. community members, health workers, and policy-makers); the analysis of the collected data; a second consultation with each stakeholder group; the prioritization of intervention options; and finally the design of a theory of change for all activities included in the complex intervention. The complex intervention included: 1) offer training in specific diseases and soft skills to health workers, 2) create radio programs that promote chronic disease prevention and management plus empower patients to ask questions during their visits to primary health care (PHC) facilities, and 3) provide a small grant to the PHC for infrastructure improvement. Small adaptations to the COHESION manual were necessary for this co-creation process.
Conclusion: This study provides a practical example of the process of co-creating complex interventions to increase access and quality of health care in a low-resource setting. The process, components, challenges and opportunities identified could be useful for other researchers who want to co-create interventions with beneficiaries in similar settings.