Exploring patient participation during video consultations: A qualitative study

Martin Vinther Bavngaard, Elle Christine Lüchau, Elisabeth Assing Hvidt, Anette Grønning

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Video consultations enable a digital point of contact between the general practitioner and patient. With their medium-specific characteristics, video consultations may create novel conditions for the enactment of patient participation during consultations. Although numerous studies have explored patients’ experiences of video consultations, research explicitly investigating patient participation within this new consultation setting remains sparse. This qualitative study explores how patients participate during interactions with their general practitioner by drawing on the affordances of video consultations.
The data corpus comprises eight recorded video consultations (59 minutes and 19 seconds in total) between patients and their general practitioner, all subjected to reflexive thematic analysis yielding three themes illustrating concrete participatory use cases.
We find that video consultations provide an accessible format for patients otherwise unable to attend a physical consultation due to physical and mental barriers. Moreover, patients participate by drawing on resources situated in their spatial setting to settle health-related questions of doubt arising during the consultation. Lastly, we posit that patients enact participation by visually communicating their impromptu engagement in decision-making and reporting to their general practitioner by making use of the qualities of their smartphone during their consultation.
Our findings illustrate how video consultations provide a communicative context in which patients may enact distinct forms of participation by drawing on its technologically contingent affordances during interactions with their general practitioner. More research is needed to explore the participatory opportunities of video consultations in telemedical healthcare services for different patient groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Health
Publication statusPublished - 5. Jun 2023


  • Digital health
  • affordances
  • communication
  • general practice
  • patient participation
  • qualitative
  • telemedicine
  • video consultations


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