Thursday, February 26, 2009

Healthcare Market Research: Common Errors in In-depth Interviewing

Healthcare Market Research: Common Errors in In-depth Interviewing

Jack Shapiro, an internationally-known healthcare market researcher, outlines some of the key problems associated with the in-depth interview approach. Many of these problems also relate to focus groups.

Maywood, NJ (PRWEB) May 27, 2006

Jack Shapiro, an internationally known healthcare marketing consultant and market researcher, futurist, broadcast journalist and public speaker, has outlined some of the inherent problems with medical in-depth (one-on-one) interviews -- a popular form of market research in the pharmaceutical industry as well as hospitals, medical equipment, diagnostics, supplies and devices.

“Every day of the week, all over the world, individual in-depth interviews are being conducted with physicians, nurses, consumers, administrators and others in the healthcare field. Millions of dollars are being spent on this type of research. Such interviews, while potentially valuable, are often misused, poorly conducted and wide-of-the-mark,” Shapiro observes.

Here are some of the problems Shapiro has discovered during many years of experience conducting interviews with thousands of participants:

This type of research should be used as a form of qualitative, exploratory research but is often misused as being conclusive and, sometimes, projectable to the nation as a whole without an appropriate sample size adjustment.

Too often respondents are asked to answer questions for which they are not qualified to answer.

Interviews often suffer from regional biases and are not conducted in sufficiently diverse regions of the country. The quality of healthcare differs throughout this country as do medical benefits and coverage; research design must reflect that.

The most egregious error appears to be the use of interviewers with little or no healthcare industry experience and who have no understanding of medical facts or established or emerging trends.

"The same interviewer (or focus group moderator) whose background is in dog food, automobiles, real estate or some other unrelated industry cannot possibly be appropriate for ascertaining the subtleties and nuances of this very technical field,” Shapiro notes.

Contact Jack for more information regarding the proper conduct and use of medical in-depth interviews as well as focus groups in the development of brand or corporate strategies and tactics, or for a specific proposal.

Jack M. Shapiro


Shapiro Healthcare Marketing Research & Management Consulting, Inc.

P. O. Box 1025

Maywood, NJ 07607

Phone : 888-331-3113