Winner Announced for Second Annual QRCA Qually Award

The Qually Award recognizes and promotes excellence in qualitative research on an International level. A qualitative research study by Upwords Marketing Solutions and The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) has just been selected as this year's recipient.

Qualitative Research Consultants Association

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., March 28, 2012 – A qualitative research study by Layla Shea, Founder of Upwords Marketing Solutions, and her client, The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC), has just been selected from a strong field of submissions as the recipient of the Second Annual QRCA Qually Award by the Qualitative Research Consultants Association.

The award recognizes and promotes excellence in qualitative research on an International level. A panel of respected industry judges reviewed entries on project design, scope and execution, along with the study’s impact on the client’s business objectives.

Shea’s research study for the CCFC was selected for its strong efforts to: 

  • Tackle an important health issue with creative research techniques 
  • Uncover valuable patient insights on a sensitive topic 
  • Provide a solid business plan for the client’s five-year strategic communication efforts


The study focused on identifying relevant communications channels in which the CCFC could better engage with patients of Crohn’s Disease and Colitis. The 10-day study aimed to understand how to get the right information into patients’ hands at the right times.

Understanding that the disease often dictates patients’ lifestyles, Shea designed a study that would allow respondents to participate on their own schedules. She used an online discussion board to encourage openness and honesty in a supportive environment. Important conversations took place among participants as they revealed details of their struggle and found support.

During each day of the study, respondents were asked to complete a different task or share opinions on a different topic. For example, patients at varying stages of the disease were asked to recreate the moment of their diagnosis, recommend valuable information sources, review and offer feedback on various CCFC publications or describe how the syndrome affects their day-to-day work/school life.

The study revealed different communications opportunities at various stages (prior to diagnosis, at diagnosis and post diagnosis), as well as types of information and tools that would assist in providing future patients with knowledge, empowerment and support to most effectively control the disease.

The CCFC has used the results of the study to develop a five-year strategic plan that would guide the organization’s approach to patient and health care provider engagement and communications. The CCFC now tailors its communications in a meaningful way to each of the defined patient audiences to provide appropriate information at appropriate times.

Shea and the CCFC will receive the 2012 QRCA Qually Award at the upcoming Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research, April 25-27 in Rome, Italy. The conference is sponsored by both QRCA and the Association for Qualitative Research. More information is available at


About QRCA

QRCA ( is a vibrant global network of qualitative researchers immersed in the most exciting work being done in the field. Our nearly 1,000 global members apply their passion, creativity and experience to help clients tap into the power of qualitative marketing research and successfully apply that research to product development and marketing.

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Qualitative Research Consultants Association

Qualitative Research Consultants Association

St. Paul, Minnesota, United States of America
(651) 290 -7491
About Qualitative Research Consultants Association:
QRCA is a non-profit association of consultants involved in the design and implementation of all types of qualitative research.

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