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Follow up qualitative research to the 2010 guidance survey

What were the key findings?

The focus group research attempted to get the views of doctors who have had little previous contact with us. Three focus groups were held, attended by a total of twenty-two doctors. Amongst the main findings of the research were:

  • the vast majority of participants were familiar with Good medical practice (our core guidance for doctors), although not possessing a detailed knowledge of the contents, and most could recall at least one instance in their careers when they had used it

  • awareness of other core guidance and training materials was, though, much lower

  • some doctors had a negative overall perception of us, viewing us as being largely punitive, and this perception deterred participants from greater

  • levels of engagement with guidance materials. Our role in fostering good practice needed to be better communicated

  • some participants felt that the guidance wasn’t sufficiently targeted, and that case studies provided tended to focus on situations relevant to GPs rather than those working in secondary care

  • suggested changes to improve accessibility included making it easier to locate guidance on our website; integrating case studies into the guidance itself to illustrate key points and making sure the guidance is written as concisely as possible

  • a number of participants believed that it would take a specific trigger, such as preparing for a job interview, for them to review our guidance. More work was necessary to persuade doctors of the benefit of ongoing engagement with the guidance. A suggestion to improve engagement was to establish a link between the guidance and continuing professional development

  • most participants expressed a preference for online guidance materials rather than hard copy. The production of a list of answers to common questions was identified as something that would be particularly useful. 

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Follow up qualitative research to the 2010 guidance survey