14 Apr 2021
International journal of environmental research and public health;
Primary producers face considerable risks for poor mental health. While this population can be difficult to engage in programs to prevent poor mental health, approaches tailored to reflect the context of primary producers' life and work have been successful. This paper reports on the co-design phase of a project designed to prevent poor mental health for primary producers-specifically, the advantages, challenges and considerations of translating face-to-face co-design methods to an online environment in response to COVID-19 restrictions. The co-design phase drew upon the existing seven-step co-design framework developed by Trischler and colleagues. Online methods were adopted for all steps of the process. This paper models how this co-design approach can work in an online, primary producer context and details key considerations for future initiatives of this type. The development of online co-design methods is an important additional research method for use not only during a pandemic but also when operating with limited resources or geographic constraints. Results demonstrate the following: (i) co-designing online is possible given adequate preparation, training and resource allocation; (ii) "hard to reach" populations can be engaged using online methods providing there is adequate early-stage relationship building; (iii) co-design quality need not be compromised and may be improved when translating to online; and (iv) saved costs and resources associated with online methods can be realigned towards intervention/service creation, promotion and user engagement. Suggestions for extending Trischler and colleagues' model are incorporated.