Data Collection and Data Analysis

An information sheet for the study was given to all participants before observations or interviews were conducted. Consent was obtained from all participants involved in the study. Data were collected using the following methods.

Non-participant Observation

Pathway activities were observed at each study site. This involved observing consenting patients (and their companions) at routine clinics/outpatient appointments and during ward rounds. Anonymised field notes were recorded and subsequently the data were coded and analysed.

Semi-structured Interviews with Patients, Relatives/Carers and Staff Participants

Semi-structured experience-based interviews were conducted either at the patient’s home or whilst at hospital and at the place of work for the healthcare professional.

  • • Patients and relatives/carers—20 patients and relatives (HD— 6 relatives and 2 patients and COPD—10 patients and 2 relatives) participated in the study.
  • • Healthcare professionals—interviews were conducted with 25 community and hospital healthcare professionals and managers which included the following:
    • o COPD pathway—Specialist nurses, respiratory consultants and junior doctors, commissioners.
    • o HD pathway— Psychologists, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and physiotherapists

The duration of the interviews ranged from 30 minutes to 90 minutes and focused on the experiences of those involved in delivering or receiving care. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. The data were anonymised and analysed as detailed below.

A thematic analysis of the staff and patient data was conducted. In addition, mapping exercises of the selected pathways were completed and presented to patient groups for confirmation of accuracy.

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