Highlighting health issues
We were commissioned by a PR and communications company working with the National Hydration Council. They asked us to look at the impact of dehydration on the work of GPs.
How much of an average GP’s time is spent with patients who are simply dehydrated? How much importance did GPs attach to greater awareness of the importance of staying fully hydrated?
The objectives of the analysis were to:
- Explore the number of patients attending GPs’ surgeries complaining of tiredness or fatigue
- Discover the percentage of patients who GPs suspect may be suffering from tiredness linked to dehydration
- Find out how many patients identify and mention symptoms of dehydration to their GP
- See whether GPs tell patients who feel tired to drink more water
- Gather whether GPs were aware of recent research showing that 60% of the population only drink one glass of water (or less) a day
- Record whether fresh water was available for free in waiting rooms
- Learn whether GPs feel there should be more done to promote the important of healthy hydration habits to the public
We carried out this research online with 300 practicing GPs. The questions included asking how much they agreed with statements regarding:
- hydration in general
- the availability of water
- the general advice given to the public regarding healthy hydration habits
This research showed that GPs felt that dehydration was a contributory factor in 25% of patients visiting their surgery complaining of tiredness. From this, the National Hydration Council was able to approximate how much GP time is spent on these cases.
GPs also identified that patients are not always aware of a number of the signs of dehydration. They would welcome more promotion about healthy hydration and in particular drinking enough water during the day.
The National Hydration Council used the research to highlight the issue to the general public. They launched a campaign for greater awareness of the importance of drinking plenty of water to stay fully hydrated.