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Case Study: From Observation to Action – How Our Client Enhanced Their Strategy with DialogueDx

In-office ethnography, often regarded as the gold standard approach to uncovering the true dynamic between patients and providers, has become more challenging to execute over time. While this method reveals the rich language patients both use and understand, it has been facing growing regulatory measures and heightening privacy concerns – making the research process more expensive and complex.

The Challenge

Our client was looking to explore patient-provider dialogue during office visits for a psychiatric disorder to understand the dynamics of the conversation, including how the patient’s language triggers healthcare professional (HCP) response and behavior.

The principal goals of this research were to inform the client’s global strategy by:

  • Identifying the key discussion points, including the specific words/phrases patients use to describe their symptoms and how HCPs respond 
  • Capture the process and rationale for treatment decision-making (including triggers for choosing specific medications)
  • Identify what stakeholder groups and clinical endpoints should be included in planned clinical trials

The Solution

KJT proposed to implement its proprietary solution, DialogueDxSM, a multi-phase global research engagement conducted across 5 countries to examine the patient-provider dialogue from several viewpoints.

Our comprehensive solution covers all angles and nuances of the naturally unfolding conversations between patients and providers, in this case, the methodology included:

  • Patient-Provider Observation: 100 targeted in-office recordings focused on discussion topics and the interplay between patient and provider
  • Patient Video Diaries: 50 visit reflections in the form of free responses to deep-dive into questions,highlighted patient experiences, expectations, and conversation gaps
  • Provider Interviews: 50 TIDIs* (45 mins each) with providers who participated in the in-office observation to probe deeper on behaviors identified in the recordings
  • Quantitative Validation: 250 online surveys (20 mins each) among HCPs to validate the observational and qualitative findings, with emphasis on symptomatology and treatment decision-making 

*TIDI = telephone in-depth interview

Prior to each research phase, an intensive Design Meeting was held with key brand, agency, medical, and market research stakeholders. Weekly meetings were also conducted throughout the course of the project to ensure consistent communication.

Protecting patient privacy is at the heart of KJT’s engagements and was a crucial component for the success of this project. Both providers and patients were assured of their protection and confidentiality throughout this voluntary research process. We developed a study protocol and submitted for institutional review board (IRB) approval, following strict GDPR protocol and client-specific adverse-event reporting processes to gain IRB-approved consent of patients for participation.

The Outcomes

Key Insights

  • Physicians listen for trigger words – some are used specifically to flag different symptoms.
  • Certain symptoms are almost always brought up first, by patients and providers, supporting the urgency around these symptoms.
  • The treatment conversation has two distinct parts: Treatment Review and Re-visit Treatments. Physicians do not spend long on these components but recognize this is a complex discussion.
  • Physicians have certain cues that lead to prescribing specific treatments. While the treatment landscape is expansive, they tend to focus on a few core options.

Impact and Actions Taken

The research uncovered various insights regarding the dialogue of patients and providers to inform future global strategies and tactics:

  • Optimized messaging and communication strategies, tailored to countries and HCP segments
  • Updated patient profiles (used in HCP communications) to better reflect actual language used and symptom expression
  • Improved targeting of lagging prescribers and strategies to impact their treatment algorithm

The research also captured the empathy displayed by HCPs and the vulnerability of patients. Both stakeholder groups had a shared and intense desire to find a robust solution that leads to a better-quality life.

Insight Activation

Given the scope and criticality of this research study, KJT facilitated an in-person workshop to immerse its extended cross-functional team in the research results and jumpstart strategic brand planning for the years ahead.

Learn more about DialogueDx and how understanding these important interactions between patients and healthcare providers can revolutionize healthcare and improve patient outcomes. Click here to watch the webinar.