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P214: Online Patient Communities as a Novel Patient Engagement Strategy

Poster Presenter

      Stephanie Terrey

      • Sr. Director, Patient Experience
      • CorEvitas, LLC
        United States


To share experience and insights on the use of online communities as an innovative strategy to engage patients and gather insights.


Multiple online health communities were formed over 2020 and 2021. The patient engagement was conducted virtually with diverse groups of patients with varying disease states. They engaged with researchers and fellow members through polls, discussion topics, surveys, and live chats.


The result is that online patient communities can be an innovative way to engage patients, especially in a pandemic setting. The data of interest for this poster is the engagement data and lessons learned in the implementation of multiple communities. Through monitoring recruitment and engagement, we were able to adjust strategies to optimize engagement of the community members. In addition, we could respond and adapt our research questions in real time to align with member responses, as well as current events. We have developed innovative strategies for analyzing and reporting the data collected so that the depth, nuance, and various engagement methods are optimized for comprehensive and impactful outcomes.


We can conclude that there are indeed many advantages to the use of online communities as a patient engagement strategy. The mostly asynchronous engagement allows for members to live across time zones and engage at their leisure. The pseudo anonymity allows them to engage openly and honestly. The longitudinal nature allows for evolving research topics that can be implemented almost immediately in the community, which is especially valuable in a pandemic with a rapidly changing landscape that requires real time insights. The lessons learned on the implementation of these communities leads up to believe that this is a valuable strategy for patient engagement that the industry should continue to explore as a viable methodology.