Information seeking behaviours and uncertainty around accessing primary care in the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study

Lynsey Rachael Brown*, Andrew James Williams, Kevin Shaw, Gozde Ozakinci, Mara Myrthe van Beusekom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to have a disproportionate effect on the most vulnerable. Public health messaging has been vital to regulate the impact of the pandemic. However, messages intended to slow the transmission of the virus may also cause harm. Understanding the areas where public health messaging could be improved may help reduce this harm.

Aim To explore and understand health communication issues faced by those most likely to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design & setting A qualitative study using online surveys. The area of focus was Fife, a local authority in Scotland, UK.

Method Two consecutive surveys were conducted. Survey 1: N=19 support workers and Facebook group moderators, focussing on key issues faced by service users, as well as examples of good practice. Survey 2: N=34 community members, focussing on issues regarding access to and communication around access to primary care.

Results Survey one found broad issues around communication and access to primary care services. Survey two emphasised key issues in accessing primary care, including, (a) the lengthy process of making appointments, (b) feeling like a burden for wanting to be seen, (c) a lack of confidence in remote triaging and consultations, and (d) not knowing what to expect prior to getting an appointment.

Conclusion Clear issues regarding access to primary care were identified. Our new understanding of these issues will inform a co-creation process designed to develop clear, actionable and effective public health messages centred on improving access to primary care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0151
Number of pages10
JournalBJGP Open
Volume6
Issue number1
Early online date9 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Health information
  • Care seeking
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19
  • Primary health care

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Information seeking behaviours and uncertainty around accessing primary care in the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this