ReferenceBritish Journal of General Practice 1998; 48: 1391–1394
Authors and institutionJonathon Gore, GP; Jane Ogden, senior lecturer in Health Psychology, Department of General Practice, UMDS of Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospitals, UK
BackgroundUndertaken as part of MSc
SettingPrimary care, London, UK. Four general practices: one single-handed in area of deprivation, and three group practice (three doctors, four doctor plus registrar, two doctors plus part-time academic); three of the four with ‘high, predominant or some’ deprivation
AimsTo examine patients' views of the process of creating a relationship with their general GP
Research designSemi-structured interviews
Sampling‘Purposeful sampling’ via four practices: patients had to be registered for 2 years and to have attended at least six times per year during this period. Patients with dementia, severe psychotic illness, or who were not fluent in English were excluded. GPs checked list and were allowed to exclude any they considered to be ‘emotionally fragile’ (which excluded one patient who was replaced). Contacted by letter or telephone. We are not told if anyone declined to participate. 27 patients: 9 men, 18 women, aged 30–79 years; 6–13 visits per year, with ‘most being at the lower range’
Data collectionResearcher ‘emphasised’ during interviews that he was interested in positive and negative aspects. Conversation encouraged to focus on ‘cognitions, attributions, behaviours and feelings’. Examples of questions given: ‘Why do you prefer a particular doctor?’, ‘What do you go for?’, ‘What things do you find your doctor helpful for?’, ‘Some people say that they go to see their doctor to talk about their problems. Some people just go to their doctor when they are sick. What about you?’. Interviews audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. No information on length of interviews
ReflexivityInterviewees were aware that the interviewer was a GP and had had no prior contact with him. ‘Role of interviewer’ discussed: ‘novice’ interviewer (sought feedback about his technique early in the study), adopted active style of interviewing, monitored tapes for any evidence for interviewer influence. ‘Consciously encouraged both negative and positive reporting’
Ethical issuesNo reported ethical review. ‘Confidential and anonymous nature of the study was emphasised’
Data analysisInterviews transcribed as performed, reviewed, and used to define interview questions. When interviews complete, transcripts independently were scrutinised for common themes according to Miles and Huberman (Qualitative data analysis: a source book of new methods, 1993). [Thematic analysis]