Spotlight on our field team25.05.2016
How a deep understanding of the markets we operate in ensures our research is spot on
When it comes to fieldwork, we know that one size doesn’t fit all! Every project is different and when considering the design, there are multiple factors that we need to take account of to ensure that we fully answer our clients’ objectives. When working on multi-country studies it is vital to understand every aspect of each market and tailor our approach to guarantee our ability to gather the best data from our respondents. For example, many Japanese doctors are not comfortable with telephone interviews so it’s advisable to speak face-to-face or for less than 10 minutes over the phone.
Our dedicated field team work hard to understand the local healthcare systems and cultural nuances across the globe to make sure our research is bespoke. We then feed this information in at all stages of the project to ensure the insights we provide are relevant and meaningful for each country. The research findings won’t be worth much if we have no context to help explain them! In Russia, for example, GPs have little role in treating diseases such as diabetes or cancer and may only see patients once before referring them to specialist care. Therefore, if we need to understand the journey of these patients, it would be important to weight our sample to include more specialists in order to fully understand their treatment.
We’ve also been working in emerging markets, sharing best practice and learning what works well (and not so well!) in countries such as Saudi Arabia and South Korea. For example, in South Korea, interviews lasting longer than 20 minutes are best conducted in-person instead of on the phone and it’s very difficult to conduct large numbers of patient interviews so sample sizes should be kept small.
- Physicians in India see around 50-100 patients per day so they’re always behind schedule in their professional day. In our experience, these specialists won’t keep to their interview times and you often end up with much smaller numbers than expected especially for focus groups. Therefore, it’s important to over-recruit on central location days to ensure we have a good number of attendees.
- In Brazil, interviews that require a webcam are not recommended due to the internet bandwidth. They also face problems with links due to the poor internet connection of some participants. Online homework can be completed with physicians but wherever possible, pen and paper is preferred.
- South Korea has a single public payer and all populations are mandatorily insured into national healthcare. The healthcare system is generally driven by private healthcare practices (90%). There aren’t any specific community hospitals and all hospitals including academic hospitals have the same role as community hospitals in the US. Therefore, it’s important to adapt the screening criteria with regards to practice setting in South Korea.
At HRW, we’re always striving to learn more and increase the breadth of knowledge in our ever-growing, expert field team to ensure we can truly access reality.