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Yank V, Tribett E, Green L, Pettis J. Learning from marketing: Rapid development of medication messages that engage patients. Patient education and counseling. 2015 Aug 1; 98(8):1025-34.
OBJECTIVE: To adapt marketing approaches in a health services environment. METHODS: Researchers and advertising professionals partnered in developing advertising-style messages designed to activate patients pre-identified as having chronic kidney disease to ask providers about recommended medications. We assessed feasibility of the development process by evaluating partnership structure, costs, and timeframe. We tested messages with patients and providers using preliminary surveys to refine initial messages and subsequent focus groups to identify the most persuasive ones. RESULTS: The partnership achieved an efficient structure, $14,550 total costs, and 4-month timeframe. The advertising team developed 11 initial messages. The research team conducted surveys and focus groups with a total of 13 patients and 8 providers to identify three messages as most activating. Focus group themes suggested the general approach of using advertising-style messages was acceptable if it supported patient-provider relationships and had a credible evidence base. Individual messages were more motivating if they elicited personal identification with imagery, particular emotions, active patient role, and message clarity. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated feasibility of a research-advertising partnership and acceptability and likely impact of advertising-style messages on patient medication-seeking behavior. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Healthcare systems may want to replicate our adaptation of marketing approaches to patients with chronic conditions.