Video and qualitative research: analysing medical practice and interaction

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Christian Heath, Paul Luff, Marcus Sanchez Svensson
Title: Video and qualitative research: analysing medical practice and interaction
Journal: Medical education
Year: 2007
Volume: 41
Issue: 1
Pagination: 109-116
ISSN: 1365-2929
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Engineering - Dept. of Interaction and System Design (Sektionen för teknik – adv. för interaktion och systemdesign)
School of Engineering S- 372 25 Ronneby
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:
Language: English
Abstract: There has been a longstanding recognition that video provides an important resource within medical education particularly, perhaps, for training in primary health care. As a resource for research, and more specifically within qualitative social science studies of medical practice, video has proved less pervasive despite its obvious advantages. In this paper, we sketch an approach for using video to inform the analysis of medical practice and the ways in which health care is accomplished through social interaction and collaboration. Drawing on our own research we discuss two brief examples; one the use of computing technology in primary health care and secondly informal instruction during surgical operations. The examples illustrate the multimodal character of medical work, how activities are accomplished through the interplay of talk, the visual and the use of material artefacts. They also illustrate the ways in which video provides access to the complex forms of social interaction and collaboration that underpin health care. We reflect upon the research opportunities afforded by video and the ways in which video based studies of interaction can contribute to the practice and practicalities of medicine.
Subject: Human Work Science\Work Practice
Public Health\General
Keywords: video recording, clinical medicine, surgery, decision-making, primary health care, education, medical