RECOVER Social Science team will present at SW SAPC conference 2021

08 March 2021

On Thursday 18 March 2021, the RECOVER Social Science team will present the results of their qualitative study at the SW SAPC on-line conference 2021. The study focuses on patients and healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) experiences of receiving and delivering care during the COVID-19 pandemic in 8 European countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed delivery of primary care impacting on reasons for patients seeking help and ways of consulting. Between April and July 2020, the RECOVER Social Science team has conducted 124 interviews with HCPs and patients in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Sweden, and Germany. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

HCPs in all countries received COVID-19 related queries which went beyond medical advice to include social issues such as childcare, finances or work. HCPs found these difficult to manage due to limited time and insufficient guidance. Patients wanted help to understand public health advice, needing to speak to a trusted source. COVID-19 regulations affected clinician/patient relationship as PPE and remote consultations presented physical or social barriers to usual ways of conducting consultations. Patients largely accepted this initially, less so for patients with severe symptoms and those from Poland and Greece. However, HCPs taking time to understand and address patients’ concerns provided reassurance.

Primary care is well placed to support people in the community, and HCPs need to have sufficient guidance to support their patients’ medical and social needs as a result of the pandemic. Both patients and HCPs were flexible in how they deliver and receive care initially but certain groups may prefer face-to-face care in the long-term.

At the end of the SW SAPC conference, prizes will be awarded for best early career researcher e-poster and best oral presentation.

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