User involvement in developing the MYPLAN mobile phone safety plan app for people in suicidal crisis: Case study

Niels Buus, Anette Juel, Hila Haskelberg, Hanne Frandsen, Jette Louise Skovgaard Larsen, Jo River, Kate Andreasson, Merete Nordentoft, Tracey Davenport, Annette Erlangsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The effect of safety planning for people in suicidal crisis is not yet determined, but using safety plans to mitigate acute psychological crisis is regarded as best practice. Between 2016 and 2017, Australian and Danish stakeholders were involved in revising and updating the Danish MYPLAN mobile phone safety plan and translating the app into a culturally appropriate version for Australia. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the negotiation of stakeholders' suggestions and contributions to the design, function, and content of the MYPLAN app and to characterize significant developments in the emerging user-involving processes. Methods: We utilized a case study design where 4 focus groups and 5 user-involving workshops in Denmark and Australia were subjected to thematic analysis. Results: The analyses identified 3 consecutive phases in the extensive development of the app: from phase 1, Suggesting core functions, through phase 2, Refining functions, to phase 3, Negotiating the finish. The user-involving processes continued to prevent closure and challenged researchers and software developers to repeatedly reconsider the app's basic user interface and functionality. It was a limitation that the analysis did not include potentially determinative backstage dimensions of the decision-making process. Conclusions: The extended user involvement prolonged the development process, but it also allowed for an extensive exploration of different user perspectives and needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11965
Number of pages12
JournalJMIR Mental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Attempted
  • Mobile apps
  • Patient participation
  • Primary prevention
  • Self-injurious behavior
  • Suicide

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