Co-created educational support for patients considering Immuno-Oncology therapy

August 22, 2022

The ask

How to create scientifically regarded, Patient Advocacy Group (PAG)-endorsed education materials around immunotherapy that offer patients and carers context and choice to learn at their pace?  

The insight

Immuno-Oncology (IO) is a relatively new and rapidly developing therapy area used to treat a range of cancers. There is a buzz about IO therapy, but there’s a gap in reliable and validated medical information for use in clinical practice, leading to poor understanding and literacy for those considering this treatment. 

We kicked off a dedicated phase uncovering treatment perceptions and unmet needs as we mapped the patient journey. We ran multiple advisory boards with patients, nurses, and carers that sought to answer real-world questions. How would this new treatment be received in practice by clinicians? Would it be well understood and valued by patients?  

The idea

With so many questions to be answered in a new therapy area, we responded with a dedicated “IO toolkit”, deployed across multiple markets. It offered a suite of co-created information materials, from leaflets to pocket alert cards, diaries to dialogue tools.

The ‘Understanding Immunotherapy’ eBook is an online resource which can be accessed on tablets or eBook readers. It is split into intuitive sections, with pop-up boxes and definitions to allow the reader to choose the level of detail they would like to read.

We co-created two animations that used analogy and plain English to explain how immunotherapy works and the importance of reporting possible side effects of the treatment.

Capture of bee from immuno-oncology animation
Capture of wasp from immuno-oncology animation

Knowing that dialogue between HCPs and patients was a key barrier to effective treatment, we created an A-board style communication tool to better support HCPs during their conversations with patients and families.

The impact

The resulting co-created, unbranded, Patient Advocacy Group (PAG)-endorsed materials are making a real difference to the cancer community. It gave patients the choice to take in exactly the amount and complexity of information they felt comfortable with at each stage of their treatment journey. And as these materials were all written with health literacy principles in mind, the improved accessibility and helped patients manage their expectations of immunotherapy as a cancer treatment.  

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