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Outsiders in the experts’ world: a grounded theory study of consumers and the social world of health care
journal contributionposted on 17.01.2021, 23:41 by J Chamberlain-Salaun, K Usher, Jane Mills
© The Author(s) 2020. This article presents findings from a grounded theory study, which investigated interactions between health professionals and consumers. The authors used Corbin and Strauss’s evolved version of grounded theory, which is underpinned by symbolic interactionism. The study sample included 23 consumers and nine health professionals. Data collection methods included demographic questionnaires, interviews, consumer diaries, digital storytelling, observations, and field notes. Data analysis was conducted using essential grounded theory methods. The resultant grounded theory consists of five categories: (a) Unexpected entrance, (b) Learning a new role, (c) Establishing a presence, (d) Confronting the dichotomy of “us and them,” and (e) Tailored care. Findings suggest that despite consumers and health professionals’ roles, consumers are outsiders in the social world of health care. Progress toward empowered consumers who are in control of their health and health care is slow and care that is truly consumer-centered is still the exception not the rule.