A person opens a treasure

The Power of Personal Strengths

Using gamification to support patients in chronic illness management

Project period



The Research Council of Norway


The epidemic of chronic and life style related illness and the limited success of current interventions approaches call for radically rethinking ways to support patients in health management. 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. We will specifically explore how gamification mechanisms (e.g. avatar) could be used to enhance user engagement and motivation, but also to foster reflection and self-discovery as part of self-management process.

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

The work in all phases will be done through close collaboration and co-creation with different stakeholders (e.g. patients, healthcare providers, family members). The project and the system developed will thereby significantly contribute to the patient mobilization and activation and optimize collaborative care services in close collaboration with its users.


  • 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