Emotional Barriers and a Lack of Physician Support


Bonnie’s extensive clinical background helps her engage with healthcare professionals as an equal and patients as an understanding peer. Learn more about Bonnie’s commitment to qualitative research.



A global pharmaceutical company launched a novel product to manage a chronic pain condition, but prescription rates were lower than projected. The client had several hypotheses regarding prescription, with two leading theories emerging:

  • Medication cost was prohibitive/insurance coverage was problematic
  • Physicians awareness was low and/or they were not mentioning it to eligible patients


However, research into the discrepancy between projection and initial uptake hadn’t been conducted. The client didn’t want to move forward with marketing or outreach initiatives without understanding the underlying issues.



We needed understand the psychological state of the patient before assessing factors which may or may not compel them to consider the medication. With this emotional foundation, we could move on to explore the affects of potential tactical barriers such as cost.

To accomplish this, a robust qualitative study was needed. A nationwide sample of patients was recruited, all of whom had awareness of the medication, but most of whom chose to reject taking it.

To offer the client usable insights, we knew we’d also need to understand the prevalence of the barriers—emotional and tactical—identified in the qualitative study. To accomplish this, a quantitative study was designed for use after the qualitative research was complete.



Through conversations with patients, we identified complicated and deeply rooted psychological reasons for rejecting the medication. Very few patients hesitate because of any practical reasons such as cost. Rather, patients wait until they reach their own personal “breaking point” with their pain before accepting the need for the medication. The condition and treatment affect intimate aspects of a patient’s life, including libido and reproduction, so many choose to “suffer” with the pain. Similarly, many belive the potential for side effects are not worth the risk.

Physicians consistently offer the medication, but very few advocate for it or provide adequate guidance. They leave the decision entirely up to the patient, causing them to feel overwhelmed and frozen not only by the disease, but also how to move forward with it.

An Organic Approach to Understanding Technology Decision Making



John’s 20 years of experience as a software engineer allows him to understand a project’s technical depth while building peer relationships with every client and respondent. Learn more about John’s commitment to qualitative research.



A leading technology company wanted to understand the decision-making process for enterprise organizations evaluating cloud providers for their critical infrastructure. More specifically, they wanted to understand who makes recommendations and decisions surrounding the move.

The client had theories about this process and needed these theories confirmed or corrected. The long-term goal was for them to better understand who they needed to target when marketing their services and solutions and what may be needed or evaluated in the process.



Rather than setting out to only assess our client’s existing theories, we sought to conduct a landscape study to better understand the perspective of those working within enterprise organizations. The research was designed to allow respondents to organically build a map of the process that would, as a result, confirm or refute the existing theories.

This approach would help generate a natural view of the process without potentially altering responses.



Letting respondents lead us through the decision-making processing encouraged more natural conversations and, as expected, shed light on who specifically recommends and/or evaluates potential cloud providers. Using our knowledge of both the technology itself and business operations, we followed respondents through recent projects, from genesis to production, while listening for significant decision makers and moments of change.

This process gradually helped the client understand the accuracy of their theories but also allowed the respondents to paint a picture without pre-established borders.


Analyze & Advise.

The research allowed us to build an influencer model with profiles of the various roles participating in and/or running the process of migrating to the cloud. We were able to identify the evolution of the cloud deployment process and show why many enterprises deliberately deploy to one cloud provider initially but later redeploy to another. However, the non-restrictive nature of our research enabled us to take this understanding one step further by building models that corresponded to unique organizational structures and purchasing / technology decisions that extended beyond cloud migration.

From more traditional, top-down organizations to grassroots companies with a less linear process, our models provided clarity, so our clients could go to market with greater confidence. This model is still applied today when making major strategic and tactical marketing decisions and has been proven accurate in many subsequent research studies with this client.