The Power of Personal Strengths

Project period



The Research Council of Norway


Modern medicine has significantly improved the treatment and cure of many illnesses and has increased the overall life expectancy. People live longer with their chronic illnesses. Recent evidence from the bio-behavioral sciences and positive psychology suggests that interventions that help people activate their personal strengths – rather than traditional approaches that focus just on overcoming symptoms and problems – are especially promising for enhancing healthy behaviors and health outcomes by motivating positive change and engaging resources from patients and their environment.

Building on previous work, this research project will explore how information and communication technology can be used to help and engage chronic patients in discovery of their inner personal strengths and provide support and guidance on how their strengths could be used in more efficient health management.

The three main project goals are to:

  1. explore how behavioral models and strategies could be used and tailored to support patients in discovery and use of their personal strengths with the goal to improve healthy behavior and health outcomes
  2. explore how gamification mechanism could be leveraged to further enhance user activation, motivation and intervention effectiveness
  3. develop, test and optimize strength-based patient support IT tool(s) that fits the existing context and users needs

Gameful design

The main objective of Stian Jessen's Phd-project is to develop, test and evaluate different gameful designs, also known as gamification, as part of digital interventions aimed at increasing the wellbeing and autonomy for chronic patients. By gamifying and thus making the interventions more game-like and fun, the project seeks to increase user motivation, adherence in use and the outcomes of use such as patient activation and wellbeing.

In order to achieve the projects goals, design and development work will be based mainly on the Participatory Design methodology, which means letting those you are designing for not only have a voice, but also a say in what is being designed. Accordingly the design on this project will be done collaboratorely with both our own designers, researchers and developers, but also stakeholders as caregivers and patients/users.


  • Tonje Krogseth, Service User Consultant, Co-Researcher
  • Kurt C. Stange, MD, PhD. Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, United States
  • Shirley M. Moore, RN, PhD, FAAN
  • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
  • Una Stenberg, PhD, Researcher. Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Learning and Mastery in Health, Oslo University Hospital HF, Oslo, Norway
  • Hein De Vries, PhD. Caphri Research Institute, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
  • Luis Fernandez Luque, PhD. Salumedia, Spain
  • Christina Bode, PhD. Department of Psychology, Health & Technology, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands


Lise Solberg Nes
Principal Investigator
Stian Jessen
PhD candidate
Per Tømmer
Technical Manager
Stein Jakob Nordbø
System Developer
Yizhak Itzchaki
Digital Designer