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Pre-Congress Course: Qualitative Research in Health Care

Two-days introduction course on qualitative research in health care

Qualitative research is an umbrella term for a heterogeneous group of methodologies. Each has his own characteristics and the choice depends on the aim of the study and the research question. In primary health care qualitative research has become increasingly important to explore how patients and health care providers act and why they do what they do.

In qualitative research the purpose is not to establish a representative sample, but rather to identify a purposive sample, specifying individuals or groups, who possess characteristics or live in circumstances relevant to the phenomenon being studied.

In this short course you will learn which research questions are suitable for qualitative research and how we decide on the right methodology and techniques used to answer this question. We will go through the practical steps of developing the project and we will give you some basics on the analysis. Participants are encouraged to bring in their own research questions or projects.

This course will be interactive with theoretical sessions and small group exercises.


9.00-10.30 Introduction: Theme – aim – RQ Problem-gap – hook
10.30-11.00 Coffee break
11.00 -13.00 Research methodology and techniques
13.00-14.00 Lunch break (own expense)
14.00-15.30 From research question to scenario
15.30-15.45 Coffee break
15.45-17.00 Exercise in small groups
9.00-9.45 Introduction on interviewing
9.45-10.30 Exercise on interviewing
10.30-10.45 Coffee break
10.45-11.30 Exercise on interviewing
11.30 -13.00 Theory on analysis
13.00-14.00 Lunch break (own expense)
14.00-15.15 Exercices on analysis
15.15-15.30 Break
15.30-16.30 Quality Control and critical appraisal
16.30-17.00 Questions and closing

Programme is subject to changes.

The course facilitators

Lieve Peremans

Lieve Peremans (°January 11, 1959) graduated as a medical doctor in 1983 (University of Antwerp). Since 1983 she is working as a general practitioner in a multidisciplinary group practice in the inner city of Antwerp. In 1995 she started to work at the University of Antwerp in the department of General Practice. In 2006 she defended a doctoral thesis entitled Contraceptive consultation in general practice: a study on quality and performance.

She is assistant professor in the departments of ‘Family Medicine and Population Health’ and ‘Nursing and Midwifery’ in the University of Antwerp. She is responsible for courses in general practice in the fifth year of the undergraduate curriculum and in the department of nursing, she teaches qualitative research. She is also teacher in the course of qualitative research in the international summer school of the University of Antwerp.

Nowadays, the focus of her research is on manpower planning in primary care and care for vulnerable people with special attention for older people. Within the European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN) she coordinated a collaborative qualitative study in Europe on positive factors for retention of general practitioners in Europe. She is member of the executive board of EGPRN.

Paul Van Royen

Paul Van Royen, MD, PhD, is coordinator of the Clinical Guidelines project for primary care in Belgium (Working Group Development of Primary Care Guidelines- WOREL). He is also Professor Family Medicine within the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. He was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (2012-18).

He has more than 30 years academic expertise in clinical general practice and research. His academic work is directed at teaching and research in primary care. He is coordinator of several teaching modules and programs, at undergraduate levels as well as graduate and postgraduate levels. He was/is involved in several research projects, including several EU-funded projects, within primary care, on respiratory infections and antibiotic prescribing, medical decision making, medical education, health care organization and data handling. He is author of more than 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals and reviewer of different scientific journals. At his department, he has developed a research centre with a strong expertise in qualitative research and systematic reviews.

Practical information

The course will be arranged on 10-11 June 2024 in Turku, Finland. The course is intended for NCGP2024 congress participants. Pre-registration for the course is required, limited number of places available. The course participation fee is 130 EUR, registration in connection with the congress registration, link can be found here.

The course takes place at the premises of the University of Turku, Faculty of Medicine (address: Kiinamyllynkatu 10, Turku). More detailed information will be available later.

Questions regarding the course, please contact the organising committee: Professor Tuomas Koskela,