• Chinese Elders' views on their interactions in general practice: a Grounded Theory study

      Liu, Z; Beaver, K; Speed, S; Liu, Chegdu University China, Beaver, UCLAN UK, Speed University of Chester
      Objectives. The Chinese ethnic population are among the UK's largest visible minority but there is limited evidence about this population, their views about their interactions with General Practitioners (GPs) and how this impacts on their health. This study aimed to explore Chinese Elders' experiences of and attitudes towards the provision of health services in primary care. Design. The method of investigation was a Grounded Theory study using open-ended in-depth interviews. Purposive and theoretical sampling was used to recruit thirty-three Chinese Elders from Chinese communities in the North West of England. Face-to-face interviews were conducted and audio-recorded; transcripts were translated, back translated, analysed and coded by all members of the research team to identify concepts following the Grounded Theory approach. Themes were generated from the data and were used to guide the study into the theoretical sampling phase of the investigation. Results. Chinese Elders were inclined to present to GPs only when health concerns were perceived as serious. This was defined as being beyond their ability to self-manage. Elders tended to adopt self-management strategies rather than follow professional advice. This was mainly due to communication difficulties, poor understanding of the advice doctors gave, and the way that Chinese patients interpreted and used the advice they were given. Chinese Elders reported that the purpose of contacting doctors was to obtain medicines. They presumed that once medication had been prescribed their symptoms would be cured, and then they believed that they could self-manage their health, usually without further GP or other medical follow up. Conclusion. These data suggest that significant misunderstandings between Chinese Elders and GPs exist. The findings highlight the dissatisfaction expressed by Elders regarding their interactions with UK health professionals. Chinese Elders' perceptions are influenced by the way Chinese people think about health and illness, and also by their GPs' assumptions. These findings are of value to UK GPs and family doctors worldwide who are concerned with improving the quality of health services provided to an increasingly ageing migrant Chinese population.