Priorities in identifying unmet need in older people attending general practice: a nominal group technique study

  • Drennan V
  • Walters K
  • Lenihan P
 et al. 
  • 1


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


BACKGROUND: Primary care practitioners are encouraged to identify unmet need in older people, but the best mechanisms for doing this are not known. OBJECTIVE: To identify common unmet needs, as perceived by older people and professionals, that could be enquired about during routine encounters in primary care. METHODS: This was a nominal group technique qualitative study conducted with older people in London and primary care professionals working in the same localities. Subjects were seven nominal groups of 5-12 participants each, four with culturally diverse user groups recruited through local community and voluntary sector resources and three with primary care professionals (GPs and nurses). Group interviews were conducted with two facilitators and one observer recording field notes and were tape-recorded and transcribed for data collection. RESULTS: Older people and professionals share some ideas about unmet need, but there are important differences. Older people may emphasize their autonomy and right to make choices, while professionals may use epidemiological knowledge to justify their own agendas, which may be considered intrusive. Nominal groups can be useful tools for capturing perspectives of different groups, but prioritization of themes identified by nominal groups may not always be feasible. CONCLUSIONS: Unmet need is a complex concept, with different interpretations according to the perspective taken. Professionals relying on epidemiological knowledge to guide their enquiries about unmet needs in older patients may find that the needs that they identify are not perceived as unmet, or even meetable, by their patients

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Autonomy
  • CARE
  • Data Collection
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • GP
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Humans
  • IS
  • Interviews
  • Interviews as Topic
  • London
  • Male
  • Methods
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Patients
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Physicians,Family
  • Science
  • Social Support
  • TAG
  • Universities
  • Urban Health Services
  • facilitator
  • general practice
  • interpretation
  • interview
  • knowledge
  • nominal group technique
  • patient
  • perspectives
  • population
  • practice
  • primary care
  • priorities
  • psychology
  • qualitative
  • qualitative research
  • qualitative study
  • school
  • standards
  • study
  • supply & distribution

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

There are no full text links


  • V Drennan

  • K Walters

  • P Lenihan

  • S Cohen

  • S Myerson

  • S Iliffe

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free