SPACES FOR SUPPORT: Co-designing a peer-led self-management programme with people with arthritis and their whānau


Research Framework

Maximising Participation


There is a need to develop sustainable modes of support that best meet the health and wellbeing needs and aspirations of people living with arthritis and their whānau in the NZ context.

We aim to co-design the content and delivery mode of a theoretically informed, peer-led self-management programme for people who live with arthritis, and their whānau, in the Canterbury/Westland area.

The new programme, co-designed via this research project, will offer people living with arthritis in Canterbury and Westland:

  • peer-support based on input from people who live with arthritis
  • new health information
  • self-management strategies
  • knowledge of environments, systems and processes that support their access and participation needs

The programme delivery mode and content will be determined by the findings from this co-design research.


We will use a participatory co-design research approach to collaborate with people with the lived experience of arthritis and their whānau/family, consumer-led advocacy organisations, healthcare and rehabilitation service providers, and potential ongoing-host organisations.

Over three years, we will use co-design research methods to:

  • establish a core co-design research team who will determine the focus and scope of the programme (Year 1)
  • conduct a literature review, with input from the co-design team, to ensure evidence- and theoretically based programme development (Year 1)
  • check emerging concepts with a broader range of people living with arthritis in Canterbury/Westland via an online survey (Year 2). This survey will be designed by the research and co-design team in response to literature review findings – as per (2) above.
  • develop the programme framework with the core co-design team (Year 2)
  • pilot and evaluate three programmes (as developed in phase 4) to test and refine the co-designed framework (Year 3)
  • ensure knowledge translation, implementation and evaluation processes for the ongoing delivery of the programme are in place (Year 3)

Collaborating with existing Canterbury/Westland consumer-led advocacy and health provider stakeholders throughout the three-year project will be a key aspect of the co-design and knowledge translation process.


This research has received initial funding from the Canterbury Arthritis Supporters Trust (CAST). We will be collaborating closely with CAST and other arthritis support and advocacy organisations to conduct this research.

Status of Research

We have gained ethical approval.

Recruitment for the co-design research team is underway.


Key Contact

Dr Rachelle Martin,
Burwood Academy
Phone:  +64 3 383 6871
Mobile:  +64 21 223 3362

Researchers and Collaborators

Dr Susan Gee,
Senior researcher,
Burwood Academy 
Phone:  +64 3 383 6871

Cate Grace,
PLEx Engagement Lead,
Burwood Academy
Phone:  +64 3 383 6871
Mobile: tel:+64 27 532 7248


Alison Pritchard (clinical)

We will be collaborating closely with CAST and other arthritis support and advocacy organisations to conduct this research.