Case Study

Increasing Program Participation Among Multicultural Patients


Our client, the leading non-profit for specific disease research and education, offers a program to those patients who suffer from this disease. The program leverages collaboration between patients and healthcare providers to ensure all patients get high-quality care, treatment, and outcomes.

The leaders of this collaborative program wanted to make sure that they were reaching multicultural populations – specifically, Asian, Black, and Hispanic – in a representative way. Knowing C+R’s expertise among multicultural audiences (through our CultureBeat division), as well as our knowledge of specific disease states, they came to us to help them meet their objective.


Multicultural patients are underrepresented in the program

A program that focuses on ensuring that patients get the highest quality care, treatment and outcomes for a specific disease has tremendous benefits to patients, so why aren’t more people (especially multicultural patients) enrolled in the program? To better understand this, our client wanted to gain a deep understanding of awareness of the program, perceived benefits and barriers among patients and healthcare providers (HCP) alike. Included in the research were those who participated in the program as well as those who didn’t.  


Talking about your disease and its challenges requires IDIs

When we want a patient to discuss a disease they are living with (and many times, this disease causes interruptions in just trying to participate in everyday activities), individual in-depth interviews (IDIs) are the best approach for these sensitive topics. We recruited patients diagnosed with the disease; some were enrolled in the program, while others were not. All patients were either Asian, Black, or Hispanic. In addition, the team gained insights from HCPs (via IDIs) – those who participate in the program and those who do not. The IDIs were conducted via webcams.

For patients and HCPs participating in the program, our goal was to understand their experience with the program, as well as drivers and barriers they have encountered along the way. With participating health care providers, we sought to understand the challenges to recruit multicultural patients for the program.

For patients and HCPs not participating in the program, we assessed the level of awareness and interest in this type of program, as well as potential drivers and barriers to joining.

The result

Research provides a roadmap to overcome barriers and increase enrollment in the program

The research shed light on how HCPs and patients feel about participating in the program. When it comes to HCPs, they have positive perceptions of the program and see value in it. However, the time and administrative effort required can become a burden. Moreover, they feel enrollment and representation in the program goes beyond just race/ethnicity, involving multiple factors of each patient’s intersectionality. For patients, we found there is low familiarity and engagement in the program; some don’t even know the name or its association with the non-profit organization.

With these learnings under our belt, we were able to provide the client with actionable tactics to overcome the barriers uncovered so that participation in the program could be maximized – especially among multicultural patients.

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