The Bristol BRC is home to an active qualitative research network. The network includes researchers and PhD students across the BRC themes who use qualitative research in their work. This might be to provide insight into how healthcare works, find out what influences the decisions that are made, and learn how to design research that is most meaningful to patients and professionals and has impact on health. Bristol has world-leading expertise in qualitative methods, training and supporting researchers, and delivering research with impact.
Qualitative research finds out how and why things happen and helps us to understand and improve health and healthcare delivery. Our network members use methods such as in-depth interviews, focus groups, and observation to collect information. Examples include finding out about patients’ experiences of illness and treatment, and how healthcare is delivered.
Our network uses theory from social and behavioural sciences to inform our research, so that it is grounded in the long history and robust thinking that has taken place in health research. The network collaborates with other researchers and clinicians in universities and the NHS. The network shares research methods, expertise and experience and also provides the building blocks for further research.
Examples of projects using qualitative research methods in the BRC include:
- a feasibility study of eye-movement desensitisation and reprocessing in people with an at-risk mental state for psychosis
- modification and feasibility testing of a mindfulness programme for the treatment of post-traumatic stress in survivors of domestic violence and abuse
- development of a novel co-intervention to improve sleep and pain in knee replacement patients
- the impact of media depictions of suicide on suicidal cognition and transition to high-lethality methods
- understanding novel surgery and invasive procedures and working out how best to evaluate their safety and effectiveness.
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