Capturing clinician-client interaction: development of the 4D&4R observational tool
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Capturing clinician-client interaction: development of the 4D&4R observational tool

Mellanie Rollans , University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia
Tanya Meade Associate professor of psychology, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia
Virginia Schmied Professor of midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia
Lynn Kemp Associate professor, University of New South Wales, Liverpool, Australia

Aim To report on the development of an observation tool that can help a single researcher to collect field data about clinician and client interactions.

Background Qualitative studies from a range of disciplines investigate the dynamics of interactions between clinicians and clients. These studies share and report findings but rarely provide details on the practical challenges and methods involved in managing such interactions when collecting rich ethnographic data.

Review methods Development of the observational tool was informed by the study’s requirements and context, previous research, and the authors’ cross-disciplinary knowledge and experience.

Discussion In relation to how clinicians interact with clients and how clients respond, four domains have been identified and integrated into the observational tool. These domains act as prompts during observations of interactions between clients and nurses. Use of the tool has indicated its effectiveness in assisting with observations and the recording of field notes.

Conclusion The article shows how to develop a tool for qualitative field-data collection. The method can be adapted to studies that require observations of interactions and its components can be modified to suit their fields of study.

Implications for practice or research The 4D&4R tool discussed in this article provides indicators of clinician-client interactions and is transferable to other research and practice contexts

Nurse Researcher. 20, 5, 11-19. doi: 10.7748/nr2013.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Accepted: 18 June 2012

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