MSW●ARS Qualitative Insights

Case Study : Patient Communication and Engagement - Healthcare Research

A series of focus groups was conducted for a healthcare communications company that produces interactive solutions and resources on a variety of medical issues. The content produced is available on the web, mobile and in print, and enables patients to improve their health literacy, help make sense of complex medical information, manage expectations around diagnostic and surgical procedures, chronic health conditions, screenings and tests, and many other issues.

The research’s overarching objective was to gain a deeper understanding of what it was like to live with a variety of diseases and conditions, in order to develop communications that engage with patients in language they understand with information they can act on.

Groups were conducted with patients living with a variety of conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, chronic low back pain, BPH (enlarged prostate), and hip osteoarthritis.

The research covered a breadth of issues, including:

  • Patient history, and a ‘day in the life’ exploration of what it is like to live with the condition – coping with the initial diagnosis, physical and mental impact, information resources sought, interactions w/physicians, steps taken and treatments received
  • Gaining reaction to a preliminary concept video on the medical condition; which in time would be refined, produced and distributed as a resource for patients
    • Determine if the content was relatable, set the right emotional tone, provided useful information/was educational, was easy to understand (i.e., limited use of medical jargon), provided practical options and solutions to consider, served to lessen any anxiety which may exist, and a number of other issues
  • Opportunity for participants to offer their input in order to strengthen the messaging.

The research consistently delivered actionable findings, leading to more effective communication platforms.