DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-ethnography.
DATA SOURCES: Medline, CINAHL, Embase and PsycINFO databases (literature searched until May 2015, published studies ranged from 1996 to 2015).
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Primary qualitative studies focused on adult community-dwelling stroke survivors' and/or informal caregivers' experiences of primary care and/or community healthcare services.
DATA SYNTHESIS: A set of common second order constructs (original authors' interpretations of participants' experiences) were identified across the studies and used to develop a novel integrative account of the data (third order constructs). Study quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist. Relevance was assessed using Dixon-Woods' criteria.
RESULTS: 51 studies (including 168 stroke survivors and 328 caregivers) were synthesised. We developed three inter-dependent third order constructs: (1) marginalisation of stroke survivors and caregivers by healthcare services, (2) passivity versus proactivity in the relationship between health services and the patient/caregiver dyad, and (3) fluidity of stroke related needs for both patient and caregiver. Issues of continuity of care, limitations in access to services and inadequate information provision drove perceptions of marginalisation and passivity of services for both patients and caregivers. Fluidity was apparent through changing information needs and psychological adaptation to living with long-term consequences of stroke.
LIMITATIONS: Potential limitations of qualitative research such as limited generalisability and inability to provide firm answers are offset by the consistency of the findings across a range of countries and healthcare systems.
CONCLUSIONS: Stroke survivors and caregivers feel abandoned because they have become marginalised by services and they do not have the knowledge or skills to re-engage. This can be addressed by: (1) increasing stroke specific health literacy by targeted and timely information provision, and (2) improving continuity of care between specialist and generalist services.
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION NUMBER: PROSPERO 2015:CRD42015026602.
Design: Qualitative study using focus group discussions. Participants' responses were audio recorded, transcribed, grouped under various domains and listed out and analysed.
Setting: A private medical college in Perak state, Malaysia.
Participants: Forty-six medical students from years 2 to 5 were included. Eight focus groups were formed with two focus groups from each academic year (six students each in seven groups and four students in one group). Students were informed through their respective student leader of each year and received a participant information sheet and an informed consent form which were completed and returned if they decided to participate in the focus group discussions.
Results: The participants had different levels of understanding of primary care depending on their level of exposure to primary care. Senior students with more exposure had a better understanding about primary care and its services. Attractive factors towards choosing primary care as a career included short working hours with a more balanced family and social life, being able to treat patients as a whole with continuity of care and closer relationship with patients. Unattractive factors included routine, unchallenging and boring practice, poor salary, work overload and administrative work in government clinics, being less recognised by other specialties; and the poor perception by other doctors that those pursuing primary care were not 'brilliant enough' for more 'sophisticated disciplines like surgery or paediatrics'.
Conclusion: This study showed that the medical students' level of exposure to primary care played a crucial role in determining their understanding of primary care practice and their choice of career in primary care. Issues to be addressed include remuneration, workload and the prejudice against primary care as a career pathway. Suggestions included introducing early exposure to fun and challenging primary care postings in the medical curriculum and producing well trained, skilled and enthusiastic role models.