Browse/search for people

Dr Rebecca Barnes

My main research interest is the study of interaction between patients and health care professionals. I specialise in the application of conversation analytic (CA) methods to address important questions in relation to improving health care. I have studied patient requests and doctor offers for medical services, how treatment recommendations are formulated and responded to, and safety-netting practices in primary care. I am also interested in using CA alongside other methods to examine implementation fidelity in clinical trials of communication-based interventions. I lead the CA Research Group in Bristol and am a Training Lead for the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.

I am currently co-leading a large collaborative CA study with Professor Geraldine Leydon-Hudson (Southampton) on the management of common infections out-of-hours. I am also working with Dr Rachna Begh (Oxford) using CA methods to assess fidelity to a brief intervention to support the management of smoking in primary care (MaSC trial), and am advising Dr Katie Mills (Cambridge) on a study using CA methods to explore communication of cardiovascular disease and cancer risk in primary care (I-CaPP).

I am collaborating with Dr Genevieve Liveley and Dr Barbara Caddick on the Poetics in Practice (PiP) Brigstow seedcorn project exploring storytelling in primary care consultations. I am working with Dr Emma Anderson and Professor Esther Crawley using CA methods to understand what the Lightning Process treatment offers to paediatric CFS/ME. I am also working with Dr Cindy Mann, Dr Rachel Johnson, Professor Chris Salisbury and Year of Care on an implementation project to support patients with multi-morbidities in primary care. 

Current external collaborators include Professor Tanya Stivers and Professor John Heritage (UCLA), Professor Anna Lindstrom (Uppsala), Professor Rose McCabe (City University, London), Dr Merran Toerien (York University), Dr Fiona Stevenson (UCL), Professor Paul Aveyard (Oxford) and Dr Hannah Wheat (Exeter).

I also led the Bristol Archive Project, funded by the NIHR School for Primary Care Research where we collected video-recordings and linked data from over 300 GP consultations with adult patients. In this project we compared recommendations given by GPs for prescription drugs and self-care treatments exploring the way the advice was delivered might affect patients' subsequent decision-making. The consultations and other linked data collected in this study are available for re-use by bonafide researchers with further NHS ethical approval in the One In a Million primary care consultations archive held in the University Research Data Repository.

I am interested in supervising postgraduate students in the following areas: patient-health care professional interaction, conversation analytic (CA) methods, prescribing, safety-netting, using mixed methods to assess implementation fidelity in trials.


Research keywords

  • Primary health care
  • consultation research
  • mindfulness