Patients’ views on interactions with their practitioners for type 2 diabetes: A longitudinal qualitative study over ten years in UK primary care

20 Jul 2017

Abstract Background It has been suggested that interactions between patients and practitioners in primary care have the potential to delay progression of complications in type 2 diabetes. However, as primary care faces greater pressures, patient experiences of patient–practitioner interactions might be changing. Aim To explore the views of patients with type 2 diabetes on factors that are of significance to them in patient–practitioner interactions in primary care after diagnosis, and over the last 10 years of living with the disease. Design and setting A longitudinal qualitative analysis over 10 years in UK primary care. Method The study was part of a qualitative and quantitative examination of patient experience within the existing ADDITION-Cambridge and ADDITION-Plus trials from 2002 to 2016. The researchers conducted a qualitative descriptive analysis of free-text comments to an open-ended question within the CARE measure questionnaire at 1 and 10 years after diagnosis with diabetes. Data were analysed cross-sectionally at each time point, and at an individual level moving both backwards and forwards between time points to describe emergent topics. Results At the 1-year follow-up, 311 out of 1106 (28%) participants had commented; 101 out of 380 (27%) participants commented at 10-year follow-up; and 46 participants commented at both times. Comments on preferences for face-to-face contact, more time with practitioners, and relational continuity of care were more common over time. Conclusion This study highlights issues related to the wider context of interactions between patients and practitioners in the healthcare system over the last 10 years since diagnosis. Paradoxically, these same aspects of care that are valued over time from diagnosis are also increasingly unprotected in UK primary care.