Naturally, life-sciences companies focus much of their communication and education efforts on HCPs as well as patients. But this focus often fails to acknowledge the importance of the third leg of the stool: caregivers. Especially for long-term conditions, caregivers are the critical conduit between physicians and patients, many of whom can’t retain all of the information and advice presented to them.
As important as it is, though, the caregiver role is only recently getting the attention it deserves from pharma and medical-device companies. This article in MM&M (formerly Medical Marketing and Media) cites a 2018 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving that looked at the negative effect of chronic disease on patients’ caregivers. Among responding caregivers, more than half reported feeling alone, 67 percent said providing care is emotionally stressful, and 89 percent said they had to educate their own HCP about a loved one’s care because of the physical and emotional requirements.
The MM&M article then details how three life-sciences companies targeted their communications and training at patients’ caregivers, with positive results for the patients as well as for the caregivers. A notable reason for those positive results: pharma and medical-device events that include caregivers not only improve caregivers’ ability to assist their loved ones—the events also provide HCPs in attendance with a better understanding of how to include caregivers in patient communications and overall care plans.