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Inside TAB Healthcare

Looking into patients
May 12, 2022

Market research incessantly endeavours to understand the reality of different disease contexts, yet occasionally it leaves to one side a key part: the patient’s perspective. It is becoming increasingly clear that the inclusion of patients as the object of research is essential to gain a full understanding. 

However, the question is: How can we penetrate into the patient’s most intimate and personal experiences? In qualitative research, the need for techniques that break through the barriers of knowledge is clear. The rational discourse and the word must be surpassed, as they often impose limitations on expression. 

When we are facing a person who is conditioned by symptoms, a diagnosis and a treatment that constitute a transformational experience of their reality, that person must be allowed to express their subjective reality openly, in an attempt to evade methodological strictures. Creative techniques, ethnographic research, even artistic expression, all constitute essential modes of gradually reaching a good understanding of the significance diseases have for people. 

There can be no doubt that a team of qualitative researchers trained to meet the challenge such an ambitious object of study implies is necessary. And the qualitative team of TAB Healthcare Research has the skills, knowledge and training that place them in a privileged position to do so. The team’s personal interest and passion led us to develop a project of our own in pursuit of a better understanding of mental diseases, using creative and ethnographic techniques. 

Let us present the result of part of this project, which consisted of a series of workshops in which both words and drawings were used as modes of expression. This was the contribution of Begoña, a Catalonian artist who has lived with depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder for years.

We are really excited to present this series of 14 illustrations that provides us with a unique perspective of the patient’s emotional experience. We have placed the artistic works together with some reflections that enable us to understand the patient’s relationship with the different facets of the disease, exploring key aspects such as: living with the symptoms, the impact of treatment, the relationship with the healthcare professional, social life (or lack thereof), etc.

The work shown here undoubtedly offers a great opportunity to delve deeper and better understand the key aspects of the mental disease, while also giving us the chance to enjoy a work of great artistic value. 

Finally, we would like to express our enormous gratitude to Begoña for her generosity and we hope you find this work interesting.