Insight recently completed a study with West Pharmaceutical Services to perform a deeper dive into the patient Journey concept that we developed a number of years ago. This framework entitled “Attitudinal Archetypes of Chronic Disease Management” is the culmination of a joint effort with West to better understand the patient’s changing emotional states along numerous stages of their journey. 

This visualization explores the emotional stages of chronic disease management, as related by patients in reflective, active, and abstract terms during contextual design research. This research consisted primarily of patient-directed story-telling and observations of treatment routine within natural contexts of use, in order to best understand both emotional and physical disease management strategies and temporal stages. Such stages outline a common patient trajectory from diagnosis to ‘control’, focused on the feelings one has towards their disease and treatment/ therapy.

The understanding of both characteristic emotional states and the progression therein provides deep insight into patient behavior, most notably adoption drivers and barriers, as well as therapy adherence (and deviations). Such information can be leveraged to facilitate both delivery device adoption and continual use.

Interestingly, the design attributes that might foster these behaviors vary across those stages identified, as attitudes towards disease management (and consequently user needs) shift from that of denial and resistance to acknowledgement and acceptance. A deep understanding of the emotional drivers within each stage can help determine tangible design guidelines for each of the archetypes defined.

For each of the four emotive stages we will delineate:

  • Attitudinal archetypes
    That capture the prevailing attitudes that patients assume towards their disease during each of the unique phases. The attitudinal archetypes are distinct and relatable patient typologies that in turn influence disparate disease management modalities.
  • Emotional context
    Provides an understanding of the raw emotions felt by patients throughout the journey, and aims to illustrate how and why these emotions change or evolve over time.
  • Relationship with treatment / device
    Looks specifically at patient attitudes toward their treatment device (syringe, autoinjector, infusion pump, etc.), and how these attitudes might influence usage. Such attitudes were drawn from analogous everyday relationships (often non-medical in nature) experienced by patients.
  • Motivations to move
    Cite specific emotive, cognitive, and environmental shifts that might encourage/ cause a patient to transition from one stage to the next