Empowerment is a tricky word. Everyone loves to use it (clearly, we’re using it as the focus of this entire article), but it’s really tough to quantify. Why? Because the word itself doesn’t imply a specific desired outcome.
However, empowerment does imply action—derived from its root word power, which means to have the ability to do something or act. You just have to define which action is the right one!
So before embarking on your next assignment that has the goal of empowering, make sure you stop and ask, “empowering what?”
Let’s take a look how we used that simple question to develop the strategy for our new metastatic breast cancer book: Navigating Metastatic Breast Cancer Conversations: How to take the lead and navigate your cancer experience with confidence.
Our Target Audience
A key to developing resonating customized patient education is to have a deep (and accurate) understanding of the target patient population. From there, it’s much easier to determine what kind of support they truly need at that moment in their journey.
Although Navigating Metastatic Breast Cancer Conversations tackles topics that are relevant and useful for all patients with MBC, our primary target audience was patients who’ve been living with MBC for some time.
Why did we choose to focus on this group? We knew that when first diagnosed, patients tend to receive a lot of education (concentrated on the basics of the disease). However, there isn’t as much information available to them after this initial step that covers the nuances of MBC treatment.
There’s a lot more to living with the disease than just understanding the medical concepts. Patients need guidance and support through all the new aspects of life with MBC—both inside and outside the doctor’s office.
From planning for the future to staying on track with medications, we discovered that one theme dominated the most important life changes for a patient with MBC and could lead to true positive patient impact: empowering conversations.
Our goal was to help patients feel comfortable to initiate tough conversations, ask challenging questions, and request help—putting them in control of their own care. We focused on empowering patients through the many discussions and topics they want and need to address. These conversations not only give patients a sense of control, but they also build confidence in decisions, reducing fear, stress, and anxiety.
Now, that’s how you drive power from within!
How We Do It
While all Dr. Joe Explains materials focus on driving action and empowering patients, Navigating Metastatic Breast Cancer Conversations is extra special. Let’s take a look at some of the specific elements we added to this book to empower patients in their conversations.
Actionable tips. This book is filled with tools and suggestions to help patients make treatment decisions, talk about side effects, improve their mental health, and prepare for the future.
Insightful quotes from patient advocates and experts. A lot of times, the most powerful information comes from those who’ve been through it—especially when discussing difficult or uncomfortable topics. That’s why we sought to include quotes that addressed common patient worries that are often thought about but not talked about.
Simple reminders. Frequently, patients know the best way to handle a situation, but they just need a little nudge to make it a habit again. Other times, they might not be aware of these best practices or helpful tricks. So, we incorporated subtle reminders throughout the book to help keep patients on track.
Confidence builders. A metastatic breast cancer diagnosis thrusts patients into an unfamiliar world that’s filled with uncertainty and uneasiness. To help, we outline appropriate actions to help patients navigate the new situations and instill confidence that their requests and questions are important.
Together, all of these elements build confidence. The confidence to speak up, be proactive, and take the lead in their care.
Navigating Metastatic Breast Cancer Conversations Pack