ReferenceFamily Practice Research Journal 1993; 13: 133–147
Authors and institutionLawrence Gabel, associate professor; Judith Lucas, fellow; Robert Westbury, visiting professor, Department of Family Medicine, Ohio State University, US
SettingColumbus, Ohio, US
AimsTo gain insight into the meaning patients attach to continuity of care. Research question: ‘What characteristics of physicians and practices promote long-term relationships with patients?’
Research designStructured interview (‘ethnographic interview questionnaire’). A visual analogue scale was used to ‘quantify feelings’
SamplingFour family physicians, who had been in practice longer than 15 years; two practised at Ohio State University Family Practice Center, and two were in private practice. 60 patients (15 per physician) who had seen the same family physician for a minimum of 15 consecutive years and who were 35 years or older. ‘Consecutive patients’ [presumably attendees] recruited. None refused
Data collection14 open-ended questions divided into three groups: why the patient had stayed with one physician, how the relationship with the physician had changed over time, and how the relationship could be described. Interviews lasted 20–30 minutes, were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim.
ReflexivityNot discussed
Ethical issuesStudy approved by The Ohio State University Human Subjects Review Committee
Data analysisData were analysed using Ethnograph software, guided by Spradley's (The ethnographic interview, 1979) four-step process: domain analysis, semantic relationships, taxonomic analysis and contrast questions. Not told who conducted the analysis