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Healthcare Market Research Case Study: High Cholesterol Consumers

patient discussing cholesterol with doctorThe commercial healthcare landscape is transforming surely and steadily from a b2b model to a model where the consumer is the key to most healthcare decisions— with extra momentum added by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

While many consumers will still be part of a population negotiated between an employer and a health insurance company, the Exchanges usher in a new era of 1:1 marketing behind a b2c model.

At c2b, we develop healthcare market research and consumer insights for healthcare providers, insurance plans, pharmaceutical companies, retail pharmacies and healthcare agencies, to help our clients succeed in this consumer-oriented environment.

Companies across these various channels of the healthcare marketplace share the goal of creating sustainable and profitable models while providing optimal care to the healthcare consumer.

In order to do that, these organizations and businesses must understand what it is that their patients, members, and shoppers are looking for — needs and wants that can vary according to gender, age, socio-economic status, psychographics, and the health conditions they manage.

As part of our health care market research, we dug deeply into how these different factors influence healthcare decisions. 

Our research included 44 health conditions, with a particular focus of analysis on the most prevalent conditions or those that cost the healthcare system the most in dollars or patient life quality.  Data on consumers with cardiovascular conditions, including Coronary Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure/Hypertension, and High Cholesterol, are covered in-depth in the c2b Consumer Diagnostic.

For this article, we focus on the lifestyle and behavior data specific to c2b respondents with High Cholesterol and a few insights into how the decision-making process may be affected by the condition. For the most part, high cholesterol is an asymptomatic condition, which may make it difficult for patients to comply with healthcare provider recommendations, prescriptions, and lifestyle modification.

As we have discussed in earlier articles, different patients are motivated by different things; understanding these differences is key to driving patient behavior change. 

But first, let’s look at an overview of this population from the c2b Consumer Diagnostic:

Demographics and Socioeconomics

  • 76% of respondents with High Cholesterol are White/Caucasian.
  • 61% of respondents with High Cholesterol are over age 55.
  • 56% of males report having High Cholesterol.
  • 53% of respondents with High Cholesterol live in suburban communities and 23% live in urban communities.
  • 32% of High Cholesterol respondents are college graduates and
  • 18%  have post-graduate degrees

Lifestyle Choices

Despite — or perhaps because of — having high cholesterol, our respondents believed that preventative care is worth the effort, if not the expense.

  • 74% of respondents understand the impact of their eating and exercise habits on their health, and 69% claim that they look for ways to stay active.
  • 73% claim to actively work to prevent illness.
  • 72% of respondents believe that the long-term benefits experienced from healthy behaviors are worth the investment.
  • 64% of respondents with high cholesterol do attempt to improve their health.
  • HOWEVER, only 33% of respondents will invest a considerable amount of time and money into improving their health.
  • CONSEQUENTLY, 69% are classified as overweight/obese according to Body Mass Index (BMI), and 54% of respondents eat whatever they like regardless of calories or nutritional value.

Note: Total costs of cardiovascular disease in U.S. estimated at $444 billion in 2010 (American Heart Association).

Most Americans with high cholesterol value the opinion of their healthcare providers when it comes to making choices about their wellness.

  • Less than half of the respondents with high cholesterol, 41%, place their own decision-making above the advice of a healthcare professional.
  • Only 29% of respondents with High Cholesterol indicate that they do not actively seek the guidance of a health care professional.

Few believe that their health is unaffected by unhealthy lifestyle choices.

  • Only 27% of respondents indicate that healthy choices aren’t a priority.
  • 35% are unwilling to change unhealthy habits.

High Cholesterol and Family

While respondents with high cholesterol say they don’t let sickness get in the way of family obligations:

  • They are less likely than the general population to be vocal about health and wellness or be role models for healthy living (although certain psychographic segments, such as Self Achievers, are vocal even with conditions like high cholesterol).
  • 57% of respondents with high cholesterol agree with the statement “I don’t let being sick get in the way of my family,” yet only 45% claim to worry more about a family member’s health than their own.

Health and Wellness Market Research and Complete Consumer Understanding

The health and wellness market research that comes from the c2b Consumer Diagnostic study and c2b Insights Accelerator enable healthcare providers, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, retail pharmacies and marketing agencies to understand and forecast the decision-making and behaviors of their patients, members, and shoppers.

In addition to the information provided in this article, c2b healthcare market research also provides data on the influence heart disease changes has on how consumers respond to a number of other factors and situations:

  • Appearance
  • Emotional health
  • Cost of treatment
  • Community and social environment
  • Malpractice or ineffective treatment
  • Desired attributes of a health insurance company
  • Attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act
  • Plus hundreds of other attributes

At c2b solutions, our team strives to learn how the population approaches the management of its health conditions. More importantly, we understand how to apply these data to help a healthcare organization thrive in the fast-changing healthcare landscape.

Image credit: alexraths / 123RF Stock Photo

Psychographic Segmentation and its Practical Application in Patient Engagement and Behavior Change


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