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The campaign was inspired by the findings of a global survey conducted with healthcare providers about organ damage in lupus patients.
In an interview with HCPLive Rheumatology, Bijal Galloway, MBA, explains the “It Will” campaign, an initiative created by GSK to empower and inform patients with lupus, as well as their caregivers, to prevent lupus-related organ damage. The campaign was inspired by the findings of a global survey conducted with healthcare providers (HCPs) which revealed a lack of discussion about organ damage risks, delayed addressing of potential organ damage, and low patient awareness of their personal risk.
What inspired your team to create the “It Will” campaign?
Well, there were a couple of key factors that led to its creation. Firstly, several months ago, we conducted a global survey with HCPs about organ damage in relation to lupus. The survey revealed that only about half of the HCPs discussed the risk of organ damage with their patients, and they often initiated these discussions only when symptoms of organ involvement had already appeared.
Additionally, 2 out of 3 HCPs waited at least a year after diagnosis before addressing potential organ damage with their patients. On the patient side, our research showed that only about 23% of lupus patients believed they were personally at risk for organ damage, despite being aware of the severe consequences of lupus.
The combination of these findings indicated a significant gap in education and awareness surrounding lupus and its long-term management, particularly in relation to organ damage. This led us to recognize an unmet need, and we felt compelled to create the "It Will" campaign.
Why do some patients with lupus not consider themselves at risk for organ damage?
Similar to individuals with other chronic diseases, many lupus patients view their condition as something they have to manage for the long term. It's possible that they adopt a "not now, maybe later" attitude towards potential risks like organ damage. This tendency can be a part of human nature, where people often believe that serious health issues may happen to others but not to them personally.
Additionally, lupus patients might focus primarily on coping with their current symptoms and daily challenges, which requires a significant amount of energy. Consequently, they may not want to dwell on the possibility of organ damage unless their healthcare providers actively address the topic. Unfortunately, not all doctors discuss organ damage risks at opportune times when preventive measures or interventions could be effective.
Could you provide a brief overview of “It Will” for our audience?
The "It Will" campaign serves as a reality check for people living with lupus. We aim to make them aware that they, too, could be at risk of experiencing the consequences of organ damage. To deliver this message effectively, we've included hard-hitting facts and a straightforward approach. However, the most exciting aspect of the campaign is the involvement of influential individuals who have personal experiences with lupus. These individuals will share their compelling stories, empowering those who hear them to take action and prioritize their health.
How can lupus patients use the "It Will" campaign to prevent organ damage and manage their condition more effectively?
The primary call to action for lupus patients is to initiate conversations with their doctors about organ damage. By proactively bringing up this topic, patients create an opportunity to learn more about their individual risk and explore appropriate preventive measures. The campaign also includes the website usandlupus.com, which serves as an educational resource for patients. It contains valuable material, including a doctor discussion guide, designed to help patients prepare for their conversations with healthcare providers. If certain campaign facts resonate with patients, they can share these insights with their doctors, asking specific questions about their risk and what can be done to mitigate it.
Do you think physicians will find value in using this platform as well?
While physicians may have other avenues for education, it is essential for them to be aware of this platform and its resources. As leaders in the field of lupus, GSK is making a considerable investment in patient education and awareness. The campaign's content also includes insights from healthcare providers about what they wish their patients knew before seeking medical assistance. Physicians may find this content beneficial for understanding the gaps in patient knowledge and expectations.
Before we conclude, is there anything else you'd like our audience to know that we haven't covered?
One crucial takeaway from our survey is the existence of a significant need and gap in education and awareness surrounding lupus and its potential consequences, particularly organ damage. As leaders in the lupus space, we are committed to addressing this need and taking action to improve the lives of lupus patients. The "It Will" campaign is one of our initiatives to bridge that gap and empower patients to take charge of their health.