Trust and Women’s Health

The Question

How do women determine who or what sources to trust when it comes to their health?

Background: To attract, serve, and gain the loyalty of women patients and consumers through their products and services, healthcare brands must first gain their trust. We wanted to better understand how that trust can be earned and maintained. So we asked questions to explore what healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies need to know about building and maintaining trust and credibility. 

  • What sources do women listen to and why? 
  • When do women value other sources over their doctor and why? 
  • How is medical professionals’ credibility undermined? 
  • Where do opportunities exist? 


Insider Insight 2-Week Research Sprint

About Insider Insight: With Insider Insight, brands can quickly tap into one-on-one conversations to understand what customers want from a product, brand, or service. Insider Insight is not a panel. It harnesses authentic, uncensored conversations between friends and family in all walks of life to get genuine insights. Insider Insight yields valuable, fresh takeaways quickly—at low risk and low cost. It is effective for organizations of all sizes, at all stages, whether alone or in combination with other research methods.


Who We Talked To

Each of our Insiders spoke with a female Connection who 1) visits a doctor regularly, and 2) also consults additional sources when seeking a medical opinion.

“I’m very very suspicious of the pharma companies. They are just pushing one pill after another down your throat. I feel most of them, I don’t know whether I’m right or I’m wrong, even the ranges, the parameters, the clinical parameters for blood pressure or blood sugar levels, I feel it’s all driven by pharma. It’s like a big nexus. It’s all these big corporate giants. They are trying to push more and more medicines, more and more surgeries, so I’m a little skeptical. I’d rather try the home remedies because you don’t lose anything.” 

– Sheila (53) Dentist


Results Snapshot

  • Gained a comprehensive understanding of women’s healthcare needs around provider credibility and trust
  • Identified key findings that can validate and challenge assumptions for products, services, and brand positioning
  • When it comes to their health, women trust: 
      • Those with experience
      • What they can understand
      • Those who know them
      • A holistic approach
      • Honesty and transparency
  • Translated findings into more actionable takeaways, such as:
      • Trust means those with hands-on experience; therefore, women want sources with tried-and-true remedies.
      • Women trust information they can understand; therefore, they want tools and resources to help them be part of the conversation.
      • Women trust those who make them feel heard; therefore, they want a big picture approach that takes into consideration their life and their bodies.
      • Women trust a holistic approach to address their needs; therefore, they don’t want quick fix solutions.
      • Women trust honesty and transparency; therefore, they don’t want healthcare providers with an agenda.
      • Received creative and strategic analysis to drive next steps

The Reframe

How might you increase trust between women and healthcare systems or pharmaceutical companies? 

This research reveals that while women trust medical professionals’ intentions and knowledge overall, they do not feel like the medical industry as a whole has their best interest at heart. Women trust individuals with experience, who care and listen. They know what healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are trying to sell them, but they are wary because they don’t know who these companies are as people. With these findings, healthcare companies can design solutions that are more likely to earn women’s trust.

Next Steps

“So What, Now What?” Workshop

Insider Insight 2-Week Sprint

Click through the presentation below to view our case story:

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