ESR 14
Project Title  Providing acceptable patient-centred explanations for FD
Host institution  University of Sheffield, UK
Supervisor   Prof. Christopher Burton
Required qualifications  A Masters or Bsc (or equivalent) in a relevant social, psychological, or communication science
Duration   36 months


The main goal of this project is to plan, develop and evaluate a training package for medical students and doctors to provide person-centred explanations for FD. The research comprises 3 phases: understanding current practice, intervention development and evaluation. Understanding current practice will take the form of an ethnographic study of consultations in a range of medical specialties examining the language and explanations used. Development of explanations will involve the development of explanations for a range of common scenarios using a published framework. These will then be refined and evaluated through focus group sessions with clinicians and patients (separately) to assess acceptability. Evaluation will involve training a group of clinicians in the explanations and repeating the ethnographic observation of practice.

Expected Results: 

  1. A description of current practice
  2. A suite of explanations for use by clinicians, along with user notes and guidance on tailoring to individual patients / settings
  3. Evaluation of training clinicians in explanations

Planned secondments and research visits: 

  1. Pain Alliance Europe (PAN), Brussels, Belgium (Mr. van Griensven); Start: Month 14; Duration: 4 months; Aim: learn about the patient perspective on acceptable explanations
  2. Grasshopper Films (GbR), Tübingen, Germany (Mrs. Ross); Start: Months 26; Duration: 1 months; Aim: produce an interactive video to train clini-cians in explanations
  3. Radboud University Medical Center Nijmegen (RUMC), Radboud Institute for Health Sciences (Dr. olde Hartman), Nijmegen, Netherlands; Start: Month 30; Duration: 6 months; Aim: develop training materials