Gout is a prevalent type of inflammatory arthritis that can be effectively treated through medication and self-management. However, despite its negative impact on almost 60% of patient’s day-to-day life, the disease is often both misunderstood and underestimated, with people being diagnosed late and not being monitored regularly enough.
Our client, Grunenthal (a global leader in pain management) wanted to give gout patients a voice so they could ascertain their knowledge and the prejudices they faced. They knew patients were suffering in silence and were not seeking better care but did not know how to approach the issue of the stigma surrounding the disease.
What we did
We worked with Grünenthal, and a steering group of experts, to design a 15-minute online survey that included 1,100 gout patients from fourteen European countries and reached audiences that were considered harder to observe. To make sure our methodology, sampling, and analysis were sound, the steering group included representatives from patient associations and clinical experts.
Our healthcare insight services survey found that about a quarter of gout patients were not diagnosed until they had already experienced four or more painful flares. Gout was also found to have a significant impact on patient’s lives, affecting their ability to walk (59% of respondents) and mental health (46%), and causing intense, severe, or unbearable pain (34%). Additionally, 59% of patients did not have regular follow-up appointments for the disease.
What’s more important, we uncovered that even though 8 out of 10 patients claimed they are satisfied with their current treatment, there is still a strong stigma surrounding the disease.
Thanks to the survey and its related studies, Grunenthal can now focus its efforts on innovative treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to treat gout. The results of our research were published in multiple high-profile journals and presented in conferences. Our robust and inclusive approach also won an MRS Operations Award for Best Data Collection (Online). Since then, we have in fact repeated this process for two further therapy areas.