Purpose: Most alcohol education programs are designed by experts, with the target audience largely excluded from this process. Theoretically, application of co-creation which comprises co-design and co-production offers an opportunity to better orient programs to meet audience needs and wants and thereby enhance program outcomes. To date, research has centered on value co-creation, with content co-design receiving limited research attention. This study aims to understand how a target audience would design an intervention and continues by contrasting an audience-designed program with the earlier implemented expert-designed program.
Design/methodology/approach: Six co-design sessions were conducted with 58 Year 10 adolescents, aged between 14-16 years old, who had participated in Game On: Know Alcohol, a program developed by experts to address binge drinking. The data were content analyzed.
Findings: Analysis revealed that a co-designed program would differ substantially from the expert-driven Game On: Know Alcohol program recently trialed. The results indicate that adolescents prefer interactive activities that engage and challenge. Three alternative program solutions, catering to identified segments in the target audience, are suggested for future implementation and evaluation.
Research limitations/implications: This sample is limited to adolescents from Catholic schools in one state of Australia, and future research is recommended to extend findings beyond this group. This study is limited to establishment of audience (adolescent) preferences, and future experimental field research is needed to develop, implement and evaluate a co-designed program.
Originality/value: This study details a co-design process highlighting differences between expert-designed and audience-designed programs. Future research investigating whether a co-designed program will deliver superior outcomes to an expert-designed program is recommended.