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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access July 18, 2022

A review of research with co-design methods in health education

  • Francisco Iniesto EMAIL logo , Koula Charitonos and Allison Littlejohn
From the journal Open Education Studies


Studies using co-design methods require the meaningful involvement of stakeholders in creating new knowledge and harnessing, mobilising, and transferring existing knowledge to support comprehensive and long-term solutions. In the health sector, co-design methodology is seen as a way of supporting and engaging local communities in critical decision-making about their health. However, little is known about which specific co-design methods have been adopted, used, and implemented within health education contexts. To address this gap, this paper presents a literature review of co-design methods used to design and implement health education interventions. This rapid evidence assessment (REA) was carried out by identifying 53 papers categorised into four themes: methods, stages, stakeholders, and outcomes. We examined specific co-design methods used in health education stages to support the involvement of stakeholders, second, we reviewed the outcomes of the application of these methods. Based on the review findings, the paper reflects two areas: first, the review shows that there are a wide number of co-design methods being used to support stakeholder collaboration to design health care services as products and processes. Second, there is no clear way co-design methods are evaluated for their outcomes. This review of literature contributes an evidence base to support the future development and use of co-design in health contexts by organising relevant literature into coherent themes in ways that can inform future research.


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Received: 2022-01-05
Accepted: 2022-05-09
Published Online: 2022-07-18

© 2022 Francisco Iniesto et al., published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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