Adv Ther 2019 Apr 11;36(4):842-857. Epub 2019 Mar 11.
Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.
Introduction: To gain insights into the needs, attitudes, perceptions, and preferences of people living with obesity using an online bulletin board (OBB) study.
Methods: The OBB is a moderated asynchronous online qualitative market research method that allows interactive discussion among participants. Participants were recruited via physician referral followed by screening questions to ensure eligibility and willingness to participate. The discussions in the OBB were moderated and allowed anonymized open answers and responses. Analysis was performed using various qualitative analytical tools.
Results: This OBB study included 23 participants (n = 11, UK; n = 12, USA). Participants expressed negative emotions associated with obesity. Obesity impacted various aspects of their life, and the feeling of loneliness caused food indulgence, especially during the evenings. Their appearance was their primary cause of anxiety, whilst health considerations were secondary. The participants felt trapped in a cycle where food was (ab)used to overcome problems associated with being obese. Participants were pessimistic about weight management measures as a result of unsuccessful past attempts, with little/no support from healthcare providers, friends, and family for weight management. They preferred medications that would allow them to maintain their current lifestyle yet cause visible weight reduction. Along with medications, they expressed a strong preference for an online support group with similar peers for motivation, support, and sustained outcomes.
Conclusions: As losing excess weight is a challenge for most overweight individuals, the qualitative insights from this OBB can inform the planning and successful execution of various weight management and drug development programs.
Funding: Novartis Pharma AG, Basel Switzerland.