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What can acute medicine learn from qualitative methods?

Heasman, Brett and Reader, Tom W. (2015) What can acute medicine learn from qualitative methods? Current Opinion in Critical Care, 21 (5). pp. 460-466. ISSN 1070-5295

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Identification Number: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000234


Purpose of review: The contribution of qualitative methods to evidence-based medicine is growing, with qualitative studies increasingly used to examine patient experience and unsafe organizational cultures. The present review considers qualitative research recently conducted on teamwork and organizational culture in the ICU and also other acute domains. Recent findings: Qualitative studies have highlighted the importance of interpersonal and social aspects of healthcare on managing and responding to patient care needs. Clear/consistent communication, compassion, and trust underpin successful patient-physician interactions, with improved patient experiences linked to patient safety and clinical effectiveness across a wide range of measures and outcomes. Across multidisciplinary teams, good communication facilitates shared understanding, decision-making and coordinated action, reducing patient risk in the process. Summary: Qualitative methods highlight the complex nature of risk management in hospital wards, which is highly contextualized to the demands and resources available, and influenced by multilayered social contexts. In addition to augmenting quantitative research, qualitative investigations enable the investigation of questions on social behaviour that are beyond the scope of quantitative assessment alone. To develop improved patient-centred care, health professionals should therefore consider integrating qualitative procedures into their existing assessments of patient/staff satisfaction.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2015 13:40
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2024 05:48
Projects: PhD Studentship, ES/J500070/1
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council

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