Developing a digital intervention for cancer survivors: an evidence-, theory- and person-based approach

Katherine Bradbury, Mary Steele, Teresa Corbett, Adam William Alfred Geraghty, Adele Krusche, Elena Heber, Steph Easton, Tara Cheetham-Blake, Joanna Slodkowska-Barabasz , Andre Müller, Kirsten Smith, Laura Joanne Wilde, Liz Payne, Karmpaul Singh, Roger Bacon, Tamsin Burford, Kevin Summers, Lesley Turner, Alison Richardson, Eila Watson Claire Foster, Paul Little, Lucy Yardley

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    25 Citations (Scopus)
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    This paper illustrates a rigorous approach to developing digital interventions using an evidence-, theory- and person-based approach. Intervention planning included a rapid scoping review that identified cancer survivors’ needs, including barriers and facilitators to intervention success. Review evidence (N = 49 papers) informed the intervention’s Guiding Principles, theory-based behavioural analysis and logic model. The intervention was optimised based on feedback on a prototype intervention through interviews (N = 96) with cancer survivors and focus groups with NHS staff and cancer charity workers (N = 31). Interviews with cancer survivors highlighted barriers to engagement, such as concerns about physical activity worsening fatigue. Focus groups highlighted concerns about support appointment length and how to support distressed participants. Feedback informed intervention modifications, to maximise acceptability, feasibility and likelihood of behaviour change. Our systematic method for understanding user views enabled us to anticipate and address important barriers to engagement. This methodology may be useful to others developing digital interventions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number85
    Number of pages13
    Journalnpj Digital Medicine
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit


    • Human behaviour
    • Quality of life


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