Do Women Make 80% Of Healthcare Decisions? And Are They More Adherent?

Despite all the articles about the changing gender roles, there is still the common belief that 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women. I guess I would assume that men would be more involved in their healthcare which either points out a major engagement issue or something more systemic (or just a self-perpetuating myth).

The She-Conomy site reinforces this fact, and I also saw it in a PharmaVOICE article (9/12) recently which highlighted the report – Seven Lenses for Marketing Health to Women.

That article had several interesting facts in it. One which caught my attention was the following…

“30% of Facebook users in this study said receiving brand messages from a pharmaceutical company via Facebook would be a good way to communicate with them.” (That seems really high to me.)

On the flipside, I tend to believe the data point that 78% of respondents would feel more in control of their health with a mobile app to provide information…making the case for Happtique even more important.

I found the following in a Kaiser Family Foundation report. (KFF often being a source of truth for me.)

Women are the health care leaders for their families. Women take charge of the vast majority of routine health care decisions and responsibilities for their children, and on top of their everyday family obligations, over one in 10 women care for a sick or aging relative. Meeting these multiple obligations is demanding and leaves many women concerned about meeting all their family and work commitments as well as managing their own health.

  • Eight in 10 mothers/guardians say they take on chief responsibility for choosing their children’s doctors (79%), taking them to appointments (84%), and ensuring they receive follow-up care (78%). Mothers are also primarily responsible for decisions about their children’s health insurance (57%).
  • Similar to men, one in four women feel a lot of stress from career (24%) and financial concerns (23%). Women are significantly more likely than men to be very stressed about managing their own health needs and those of their parents.
  • One in 10 women (12%), compared to 8% of men, cares for a sick or aging relative, often an ill parent. The majority of caregivers report that they perform a range of tasks, including housework (91%), transportation (83%), and various financial decisions (66%). Many also assist with medical and physical care, such as administering medicines or shots (58%), as well as routine activities such as bathing and dressing (42%).
  • Caregivers themselves contend with a host of health challenges. Four in 10 are low-income, nearly half (46%) have a chronic health condition of their own, and one in five non-elderly caregivers are uninsured.
  • A sizable share (29%) of caregivers provide assistance full-time, spending more than 40 hours per week as a caregiver. This is even more common among low-income caregivers, 44% of whom report assisting their relative for over 40 hours weekly.

Interestingly, this ties into a discussion I was having the other night about whether men or women are more adherent to their medications and whether that is a relevant segmentation factor in designing an intervention strategy. The data I’ve seen says women are less likely to be adherent than men, but the company I was talking to believed their data pointed the other way. Here’s a few articles on the topic:

And from the CVS Caremark 2008 Trends Rx Report

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