ReferenceSociology of Health and Illness 1996; 18: 341–356
Authors and institutionsRose Wiles, Institute of Health Policy Studies, University of Southampton, UK; Joan Higgins, Health Services Management Unit, University of Manchester, UK
SettingEight private hospitals and pay beds in three NHS hospitals in Wessex region (UK)
AimsTo examine how private patients interpret and understand their relationships with their doctors and, in particular, ‘whether patients understand the relationship with their consultants to be a consumerist one, in which they hold the power, one of mutuality, or the more traditional paternalistic one’
Research designSemi-structured interviews
SamplingSample of responders to questionnaire survey of private inpatients. Selected on basis of age and sex (reflecting questionnaire sample). All surgical patients. 35 women, 25 men. Majority aged 25–50 years and in social classes I, II, or III; 30 paid for their stays through private health insurance provided or subsided by their employers
Data collectionInterviews tape-recorded and transcribed in full. Not told who performed interviews
ReflexivityNot discussed
Ethical issuesNot discussed
Data analysisTranscripts analysed manually ‘by grouping the types of responses interviewees made in relation to the key topics of research’