Public acceptability of commercial organisations having access to health and social care data for research purposes: A Q methodology study

Manchester icon Greater Manchester


Study overview

Health and social care data is collected when you use and access health and social care services, like GP practices. It can include about you, such as your gender or ethnicity, but also about your health, such as the medicines you take or have taken. This data is stored on your record and is useful for your individual care. However, this data could also be useful for organisations outside the NHS, like commercial organisations, who want to use this data for research.

Commercial organisations, such as drug companies or technology product companies, are organisations which could use health and social care data to research into ways to improve people’s health and prevent illness. However these organisations will also make a profit by being able to access and use this data.

Therefore this study wants to understand the general public view around commercial organisations having access to health and social care data for research purposes.

Who can take part?

We are looking for members of the UK general public, aged 16 years old and over, to apply to take part in the study. The study is looking for a mix of people, including people with long term health conditions; however this is not a requirement for applying. No previous knowledge on the subject area is needed and we will explain what you will have to do on the day.


What will the study involve?

If you are accepted on to the study, you will be invited to attend a session at Vaughan House at the University of Manchester.

The session will last at least 90 minutes but up a maximum of 2 hours, depending on how quickly you complete the tasks. The study involves 2 tasks:

  1. First, you will be asked to complete the ‘Q study’. This will involve you deciding how much you agree or disagree with 42 statements about commercial organisations having access to health and social care data. We will provide information about how to do this on the day.
  2. Second, you will take part in a short one-to-one interview where you will be asked to discuss the decisions you made in the Q study.

You will receive a shopping voucher for your time.

For more information contact:

Helen Brierley at the University of Manchester

0161 306 7925

helen.brierley@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk