Improving cancer support by engaging hard-to-reach patients

Published 14 Jun 2021 1 minute read

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Minority group cancer patients (that is those from Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds; and lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and older (65+) patients) tend to have poorer experiences and outcomes. However, they lacked evidence and insight to identify specific needs and shape future support.

The challenge centred around how to reach-out and engage such hard-to-reach groups, and how to sensitively handle discussions with cancer survivors and have them be frank and openhe challenge centred around how to reach-out and engage such hard-to-reach groups, and how to sensitively handle discussions with cancer


With the support of Further, and using Further’s pioneering community software, social psychology experts FORUM RESEARCH created a two-month community, separately engaging patient groups and key opinion leaders (Healthcare Experts, Inclusion Specialists and Academics).

Specifically, Further helped FORUM Research achieve a successful project by:

  • Developing a research design and activity strategy that engaged participants
  • Co-developing an effective project and engagement strategy
  • Supporting the launch of 70+ community activities smoothly and efficiently
  • Providing a safe, secure environment to encourage open sharing and discussion

The results

  • Holistic understanding of patient needs and opportunities for support through various tasks (for example, word-association exercises, diaries, projectives and message co-creation)
  • Engagement of >100 hard-to-reach patients (virtually impossible
    using F2F methods)
  • Greater cost efficiencies when compared to traditional F2F methods
    (50% less, as determined by an independent review carried out from
    the outset)
  • A project that simultaneously delivered across different business
    functions – research, communications, customer service, engagement, inclusion and support

 The online research community approach represents a cost-effective means of engaging with a wide group of individuals, many of whom are often harder to engage.

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