GCI Health/Harris Poll Reveals American Public’s Desire for Hopeful and Inspirational Content


New GCI Health/Harris Poll Reveals American Public’s Desire for Hopeful and Inspirational Health-Related Content and Information That Goes Beyond COVID-19

Proprietary research illuminates how the pandemic has made Americans stronger and more resilient, and a need for the healthcare industry to offer holistic support

The Harris Poll, a global market research firm, and GCI Health, an award-winning global integrated communications agency specializing in healthcare, today announced the results of The COVID-19 Health Impact Survey, a proprietary research initiative designed to better understand how Americans, especially those living with or caring for someone with underlying health conditions, are coping during the pandemic and how the healthcare industry can help address their needs.

The national survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, including 1,300 people with chronic illnesses, revealed that 40 percent of Americans want to see stories of hope and inspiration (41 percent and 39 percent, respectively), and that people managing a chronic condition are more likely than those who are not to want to hear about how to be better prepared for emergencies (47 percent), tips for improving mental wellbeing (46 percent), stories of hope (44 percent) or information on alternative medicine (32 percent).

The survey further noted that 70 percent of Americans feel the pandemic has made them a stronger, more resilient person, and 62 percent find that social distancing mandates have given them time to take control of their health, such as eating healthy, exercising and sleeping more/better. Interestingly, 43 percent of those caring for someone with a health condition feel overwhelmed by trying to manage their health and the health of their loved ones.

“On the heels of new data showing how the pharmaceutical industry’s reputation is improving dramatically, these new findings indicate an opportunity to offer support in people’s evolving health journeys,” said Rob Jekielek, managing director of The Harris Poll. “Furthermore, yet to be released data indicates that people living with chronic conditions view the pharmaceutical industry more favorably than those who are not managing a condition.”

Not everyone is experiencing the pandemic in the same way. For people living with a chronic illness, about half (48 percent) felt that there was the right amount of information available to them about COVID-19, while 33 percent felt there was too much and 13 percent felt there wasn’t enough. Similarly, nearly two-thirds (66 percent) felt overwhelmed by news coverage of the topic. Additionally, half of Americans (52 percent) reported having had difficulty finding health information on anything else because of coronavirus coverage and 93 percent reported interest in non-COVID related content.

“Throughout this period, the healthcare industry has been striving for unprecedented innovation to fight COVID-19,” said Wendy Lund, CEO, GCI Health. “Information that is communicated in authentic ways with a more empathetic, supportive and grateful tone – and that balances the negative news around COVID-19 – will be well received. There is a clear desire, especially among those managing chronic conditions for non-COVID-related content, and this is an important time for the industry to adapt and rethink communications strategies.”

The COVID-19 Health Impact Survey: Method
The COVID-19 Health Impact Survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll in partnership with GCI Health from April 14-16, 2020 among 2,033 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes are available upon request.

About The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that strives to reveal the authentic values of modern society to inspire leaders to create a better tomorrow. We work with clients in three primary areas: building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible.

About GCI Health
GCI Health is one of the most highly recognized global integrated healthcare communications agencies in the world, with recent industry honors including being named a top Agency of the Decade by PRovoke Media, 2019 MM&M Midsize Agency of the Year, 2019 Holmes Report North American Healthcare Agency of the Year and several Global Best Place to Work For awards. At GCI Health, we are Inspired by People. We share our clients’ desire to improve the health of all people around the world and work tirelessly to contribute to their ambitious goals. Our approach to communications is rooted in looking at all stakeholders – patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, policymakers, reporters and payers – as people with distinct perspectives that shape how they think about health. We create breakthrough, people-driven programs that drive tangible results for our clients and the people they serve. And we carefully curate a culture that is catalyzed by the belief that people should be as successful in their personal lives as they are in their professional ones.