Project 3 – Qualitative study of patients’ and carers’ experiences of creating and using online comment

Interviews with patients and carers to explore the motivations and actions of people who choose to create or use online feedback.

We would like to find out more about how and why patients and members of the public have used the internet to express their views about healthcare, or read other people’s comments. We are interested in people’s use of a range of internet platforms e.g. Twitter, YouTube, blogs, health forums, patient feedback websites and NHS complaints forums.
In this part of the study we aim to conduct interviews with people, lasting about an hour, where they can talk to us about what motivates them to use online platforms to comment on, or give feedback about, their health service experiences.
The lead researcher for this work is Susan Kirkpatrick. If you would like more information, or would like to take part please contact her on

Interviewing patients and the public who have used the internet to express their views about healthcare, or have read other people’s comments

As a researcher working in the Health Experiences Research Group in Oxford I have interviewed many people about their health experiences, for the health information website Over the years it’s become common for people to describe ways in which they have sought support and information about health conditions or treatment or found it helpful to share experiences with others online.

Sharing personal experiences on Facebook or Twitter, or through blogs or videos, is becoming a familiar part of everyday life. These days people regularly use the internet to look at customer reviews and ratings of holidays and shopping purchases, and are commonly asked to give their own reviews. Increasingly, people are going online to give feedback on their experience of the health services, or to read the comments or ratings that other people have provided. There are websites that invite feedback on doctors or hospitals, and some people choose to tell their stories, including about health services, in personal blogs or discussion forums.

For this part of the study we want to find out more about how and why people share their views and personal experiences of healthcare services online. I will be travelling around the UK to interview people about how they have used the internet in this way. I want to ensure that I talk to a wide range of people, and that the interviews include people who have shared both good and bad aspects of health services.

I also hope to speak to people who have not used the internet for this purpose, perhaps there are particular reasons that they don’t wish to do so, or they might consider doing so in the future. The things that people tell me during the interviews will be used to develop resources for NHS trusts which may help them interpret and use online comments and feedback from patients and the public, and potentially to improve services.

An information sheet with details about taking part in this part of the study can be downloaded here. If you are interested in taking part in an interview about your own experiences you can contact me directly.
07787 294170 mobile
01865 617791 (24 hour answerphone)