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Ethnography for Health Care Improvement Summer School 2023




A short course designed for researchers and doctoral students to critically engage with the theory and practice of ethnography in healthcare settings.

You will be taught by staff from SAPPHIRE, University of Leicester, who have an international reputation for expertise in using ethnographic methods in healthcare improvement

29th & 30th June 2023 at College Court Conference Centre


Detailed Description

The two day course (12 hrs) will employ a variety of lectures, workshops, group work and student presentations.

The course will cover the following:

  • What is ethnography? Use, variation and value associated with the ethnographic label*
  • Diverse methods and practices, including non-traditional, digital and visual and remote approaches*
  • Ethnography as an "insider" (for clinician-researchers)*
  • Critical appraisal of ethnographic contributions to healthcare improvement 
  • Ethnography in and of healthcare, managing tensions in improvement and evaluation
  • Cross-cultural variation, comparative studies of healthcare using ethnographic methods – sensitivity to local context, time, place and complexity
  • Designing and conducting ethnographic research in healthcare improvement; tips from the field, the importance of reflexivity and ethical conduct inside and outside healthcare settings
  • Ethnographic writing and publication, influencing policy and practice

* A choice of breakout sessions relevant to participants with different needs and experiences in ethnography will be offered


By the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • identify scope and practical application of ethnography for healthcare improvement
  • identify sociological / anthropological origins of ethnography and key philosophical concepts involved with using ethnography for healthcare improvement
  • outline approaches to recording field notes, interviews, and debriefs, and to managing data
  • describe approaches to the analysis of ethnographic data
  • consider the challenges and benefits of team working in ethnographic studies
  • discuss challenges in gaining ethical approval, access to sites, data collection in healthcare settings (particularly around securing consent), exiting the field and writing up for publication
  • understand ways to generate theoretically informed insights ‘telling cases’ with implications for healthcare

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