Lessons learned from the STAR project

Published on March 23, 2023 – Although individually tailored eHealth programmes have shown to be effective in changing patient and citizen health behaviours, they have so far not been applied to lifestyle counselling guideline adherence in primary health care professionals beyond the STAR project. The programme developed as part of the STAR project aimed to support general practice nurses adhering to national smoking cessation counselling guidelines and showed encouraging positive impacts on both nurse and patient level. Therefore, together with the other researchers involved, the ACHC vice-chair and secretary Eline Smit aimed to identify lessons learned from this project. In this post, we would like to share these lessons. 

The authors tried to identify lessons learned through triangulation of information from different sources collected throughout the project run time (e.g., project meetings, discussions with experts in the fields of computer tailoring, smoking cessation in professional education, and interactions with general practice nurses). Based on this exercise, they identified four lessons learned which developers and testers of tailored eHealth programmes in primary health care should consider, relating to 1) Choosing outcome measures, 2) Measuring outcomes, 3) Practical feedback application & Programme accessibility, and 4) Programme interaction. An extensive description of the lessons learned in relation to each of these four subjects can be found in the paper, that was published in the journal Patient Education and Counseling. The authors share this information in the hope to see more applications of this promising intervention strategy –building on their work – in the future. Eline and her colleagues were positively surprised to see that their work was recently highlighted in one of the journal’s editorials: “The paper by Hoving et al. shows how important it is to be transparent about the barriers encountered in designing and testing an online intervention. In this respect, the very fact that they published their lessons learned may serve as a lesson learned for researchers and developers”.

The full paper can be found here (open access).