— growth realized

Case Study

Role playing to deep dive

“As an innovation partner, hallemavanloon's ability to deliver user-centric insights, creative ideas and a non-traditional approach is a way to ensure that a fresh perspective is infused into our innovation efforts.”

— business unit lead

the challenge

A well-respected pharmaceutical company with an effective treatment became concerned when specialists began prescribing the drug as a last resort. The company believed that this could hurt patient outcomes and damage physician perceptions of the medicine. It had a pressing need to measure the actual onset of treatment and understand the key drivers for this behaviour.

the approach

To assess this, we determined that a quantitative approach was needed. However, understanding why specialists may be starting treatment later than recommended is often more suited to a qualitative approach. The challenge, therefore, was to secure the same level of insight from a quantitative survey as could be acquired from dual quantitative and qualitative phases of research. We employed a series of role-playing exercises to better engage specialists with the survey’s open-ended questions, which focused on the reasons behind any suboptimal treatment onset.

Based on these role plays we designed an online survey to provide a greater level of insight into the specialists’ thinking and behaviour. For each open-ended question, we first created the narrative of the role-playing exercise, supported by onscreen visuals, then encouraged the specialists to provide as detailed answers as possible. Respondent feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Participating physicians reacted well to the quality of the survey, the level of engagement in survey design, and their overall enjoyment of the study. 

growth realized™

The positive experience produced greater engagement in the survey’s open-ended questions, with respondents providing a wealth of information about their current prescribing behaviour. From this dialogue, we identified the patient types that received treatment later than the recommended onset and the physician attitudes that underpinned this behaviour. Due to the quality and extensiveness of the information collected and analysed, our client gained better understanding of the drivers of specialists’ behaviour and moved forward in better supporting physicians in prescribing the medicine.