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      Exploring Nurse and Patient Experiences of Developing Rapport During Oncology Ambulatory Care Videoconferencing Visits: Protocol for a Qualitative Study

      , MS, RN, GNP-BC, AHN-BC, NBC-HWC 1 , , , PhD, DNP, RN, NPD-BC, CNE 1
      (Reviewer), (Reviewer)
      JMIR Research Protocols
      JMIR Publications
      nursing, oncology ambulatory care, provider-patient relationship, rapport, telehealth, videoconferencing visits

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          Telehealth videoconferencing has largely been embraced by health care providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, little is known about specific techniques for building rapport and provider-patient relationships in this care environment. Although research suggests that videoconferencing is feasible and can be effective for some types of care, concerns about the impact of technology on provider-patient relationships exist across health disciplines. Suggestions for adapting some in-person rapport techniques, such as the use of small talk, eye contact, and body language to facilitate trust, personal connection, and communication during videoconferencing encounters, have been discussed in the popular press and clinical commentaries. Notably, evidence regarding the effects of these strategies on rapport and clinical care outcomes is lacking. Understanding how to establish rapport in videoconferencing visits is especially important in oncology nursing, where rapport with patients enables nurses to become a source of emotional support, helping patients adapt and navigate the cancer journey.


          This study aims to investigate the nature of nurse-patient rapport in ambulatory cancer care videoconferencing visits. The objectives include exploring how patients with cancer and nurses describe experiences of rapport and strategies for cultivating rapport in videoconferencing visits and similarities and differences identified by patients with cancer and nurses between experiences of rapport in videoconferencing and in-person visits.


          Semistructured narrative interviews of patients with cancer and nurses will be conducted to understand the experience of rapport building in videoconferencing visits. Nurses and patients will be interviewed separately to facilitate an understanding of the perspectives of both types of participants. Interviews will be conducted on a secure videoconferencing platform. This qualitative descriptive study will describe participant experiences in a manner that, although not without interpretation, is as close to the data as possible. The research team will meet regularly to discuss, define, and document codes, categories, and themes, and the team will maintain a detailed audit trail of analytical decisions. In addition, member checking will enhance the rigor of the study. Nurse and patient interviews will be analyzed separately using identical procedures and may be explored side by side in the final analysis to provide a comparative analysis. Data management and analysis will be performed using NVivo 12.


          Data collection will begin during summer 2021, with results from the data analysis anticipated by winter 2021. A research team trained in qualitative methodology will use conventional content analysis to analyze the data using first- and second-level codes derived directly from the transcribed text data.


          This study aims to determine what behaviors, communication techniques, and relational practices need to be adapted in videoconferencing telehealth visits, setting the foundation for future development of interventions and evidence-based practice guidelines for relationship building during videoconferencing telehealth visits.

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          Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups.

          Qualitative research explores complex phenomena encountered by clinicians, health care providers, policy makers and consumers. Although partial checklists are available, no consolidated reporting framework exists for any type of qualitative design. To develop a checklist for explicit and comprehensive reporting of qualitative studies (in depth interviews and focus groups). We performed a comprehensive search in Cochrane and Campbell Protocols, Medline, CINAHL, systematic reviews of qualitative studies, author or reviewer guidelines of major medical journals and reference lists of relevant publications for existing checklists used to assess qualitative studies. Seventy-six items from 22 checklists were compiled into a comprehensive list. All items were grouped into three domains: (i) research team and reflexivity, (ii) study design and (iii) data analysis and reporting. Duplicate items and those that were ambiguous, too broadly defined and impractical to assess were removed. Items most frequently included in the checklists related to sampling method, setting for data collection, method of data collection, respondent validation of findings, method of recording data, description of the derivation of themes and inclusion of supporting quotations. We grouped all items into three domains: (i) research team and reflexivity, (ii) study design and (iii) data analysis and reporting. The criteria included in COREQ, a 32-item checklist, can help researchers to report important aspects of the research team, study methods, context of the study, findings, analysis and interpretations.
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            Three approaches to qualitative content analysis.

            Content analysis is a widely used qualitative research technique. Rather than being a single method, current applications of content analysis show three distinct approaches: conventional, directed, or summative. All three approaches are used to interpret meaning from the content of text data and, hence, adhere to the naturalistic paradigm. The major differences among the approaches are coding schemes, origins of codes, and threats to trustworthiness. In conventional content analysis, coding categories are derived directly from the text data. With a directed approach, analysis starts with a theory or relevant research findings as guidance for initial codes. A summative content analysis involves counting and comparisons, usually of keywords or content, followed by the interpretation of the underlying context. The authors delineate analytic procedures specific to each approach and techniques addressing trustworthiness with hypothetical examples drawn from the area of end-of-life care.
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              The qualitative content analysis process.

              This paper is a description of inductive and deductive content analysis. Content analysis is a method that may be used with either qualitative or quantitative data and in an inductive or deductive way. Qualitative content analysis is commonly used in nursing studies but little has been published on the analysis process and many research books generally only provide a short description of this method. When using content analysis, the aim was to build a model to describe the phenomenon in a conceptual form. Both inductive and deductive analysis processes are represented as three main phases: preparation, organizing and reporting. The preparation phase is similar in both approaches. The concepts are derived from the data in inductive content analysis. Deductive content analysis is used when the structure of analysis is operationalized on the basis of previous knowledge. Inductive content analysis is used in cases where there are no previous studies dealing with the phenomenon or when it is fragmented. A deductive approach is useful if the general aim was to test a previous theory in a different situation or to compare categories at different time periods.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                June 2021
                14 June 2021
                : 10
                : 6
                : e27940
                [1 ] Duke University School of Nursing Durham, NC United States
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Paula D Koppel paula.koppel@ 123456duke.edu
                Author information
                ©Paula D Koppel, Jennie C De Gagne. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 14.06.2021.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 13 February 2021
                : 28 April 2021
                : 11 May 2021
                : 12 May 2021

                nursing,oncology ambulatory care,provider-patient relationship,rapport,telehealth,videoconferencing visits


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