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General practitioners have feelings too : the lived experience of antibiotic prescribing in a group of male general medical practitioners

Thousands of medical prescriptions are generated everyday by general practitioners (GPs) and one of the most frequently prescribed groups of medicines is antibiotic therapy (Duerden et al. 2011). Despite the many studies that have previously explored clinical decision making, there remains a lack of understanding about how GPs make clinical prescribing decisions. This study was undertaken because the lived experience in clinical decision making has not been widely studied and there is a gap in the literature. This study is the first of its kind to use a phenomenological approach to explore the lived experience and emotional side of antibiotic prescribing in the context of medical prescribing. The aim of this study was to explore, interpret, and understand the lived experience of antibiotic prescribing in general practice. To explore the lived experience of antibiotic prescribing, I used the methodological framework of hermeneutic interpretative phenomenology. Unstructured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with ten GP participants. I transcribed the interviews and based the analysis on Kvale’s six steps of data analysis. Medical prescribing is a complex process based on many factors that include intuitive feelings, clinical knowledge, and professional experience. There are many influences that evoke GPs’ emotions and these emotions then drive the prescribing decision. Influences are both internal, such as the knowledge and experience of the GP and external, such as patients, families, and national policy. Writing a prescription is one of the most frequent procedures undertaken in general practice, yet it often remains a challenging experience and causes many GPs to feel anxious, uneasy, and sometimes overwhelmed. Behind the confident and composed public face of GPs lies a professional group of clinicians who are caring and empathetic but often feel anxious and vulnerable. The findings of the study have implications for practice, education and research.
Date January 2015
CreatorsCassam, Carol L.
ContributorsAllan, Helen; Vydelingum, Vasso
PublisherUniversity of Surrey
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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