Market research is now being conducted by managers and health care professionals within the NHS. Very little of this research to date has been qualitative, although qualitative techniques would be most appropriate to investigate the perceptions of patients, and to compare perceptions of patients with those of service providers. Interest in qualitative methods is increasing and with it a need to train professionals and managers to use them. There exists little guidance in the literature on exactly how to conduct qualitative interviews, narration, group discussions and panels within health care. An interaction guide adapted from a management training product is being used by the author as a framework for conducting research and to train others to do so. It teaches interactive skills for effective leadership. A parallel is drawn between leadership exhibited by managers and leadership for moderators and interviewers. This framework is recommended for qualitative research in other sectors besides health care.
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