Co-designing for behaviour change – The development of a theory-informed oral-care intervention for stroke survivors

Matthew Lievesley, Rachael Powell, Daniel Carey , Sharon Hulme, Lucy O'Malley, Wendy Westoby, Jess Zadik, Audrey Bowen, Paul Brocklehurst, Craig J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes how research to understand the oral care needs and experiences of stroke survivors was translated into a prototypical intervention. It addresses the challenge of how to develop service improvements in healthcare settings that are both person-centred, through the use of co-design, and also based on theory and evidence.

A sequence of co-design workshops with stroke survivors, family carers and with health and social care professionals, ran in parallel with an analysis of behavioural factors. This determined key actions which could improve mouthcare for this community and identified opportunities to integrate recognised behaviour-change techniques into the intervention. In this way, behaviour change theory, evidence from qualitative research and experience-based co-design were effectively combined.

The intervention proposed is predominantly a patient-facing resource, intended to support stroke-survivors and their carers with mouth care, as they transition from hospital care to living at home. This addresses a gap in existing provision, as other published oral-care protocols for stroke are clinician-facing and concerned primarily with acute care (in the first days after a stroke).

Although it draws on the experiences of a single design project, this study articulates a ‘working relationship’ between design practice methods and the application of behaviour change theory.

Keywords: co-design, behaviour change, stroke care, oral-care, person-centred care, EBCD, experience based co-design.

Original languageEnglish
Journal Design for Health
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2022


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