Are patient testimonials effective?

While medical data is usually an effective way to reach HCPs, patient testimonials can sometimes be more effective. Physicians want to understand patients’ behavior so that outcomes can improve.

I was reading the printed script from a patient testimonial on diabetes for a client. The patient talked about how hard it is to stay within diabetes guidelines and his fear that some diabetes drugs could lead to more problems. In the video, the patient said he understood the need to lose weight, but it would be hard with his job.

Patient testimonials can effectively communicate with HCPs, but some guidelines need to be followed.

1ne: It’s OK to compensate a patient for their time and travel expenses, but there is a fine line between compensation and paid spokesperson to your audience. It would help if you were transparent regarding how patients were recruited and whether they were compensated.

2wo: You can ask patients to talk about their experiences but be careful not to put words in their mouths. Editing for legal, medical, and regulatory purposes is essential but keep it real.

3hree: Have an objective in mind. What are you hoping to communicate to your audience, and why?

4our: Keep it short. HCPs are stressed for time so break the interview into more minor timed sequences with titles that will engage them.

5ive: Not all video testimonials require fair balance. We ran a testimonial, under the drug company’s name, about how a cancer patient felt empowered by more information on her condition, which helped her have a more positive outlook.

In talking with a wide variety of HCPs, I’ve found that they are very interested in patient attitudes regarding their health condition and treatments. It may not be suitable for all health conditions and audiences, but patient testimonials can be a great way to get closer to your audience.