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Rebecca Barnes

BSc(Hons), PgDip., PhD

Associate Professor

Rebecca Barnes is an Associate Professor and NIHR Fellow in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. She is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol.

Rebecca is a social scientist and an internationally recognised expert in conversation analytic (CA) methods as applied to communication in primary care settings. She has spent the last 20 years building her research experience as a qualitative methodologist working at Medical Schools in Plymouth, Exeter and Bristol before moving to Oxford in September 2020. 

Rebecca’s work focuses on communication in primary care with a view to addressing professional / practical problems, which she approaches as a conversation analyst. Her recent work has focused on help-seeking in calls to NHS 111, out-of-hours visits, antibiotic treatment decision-making and safety-netting advice.

Rebecca’s current research projects include:

  • PRIMA – an NIHR-funded mixed methods programme of research exploring the management of patient risk in urgent primary care; 
  • OSCAR – a cross-ARC funded mixed methods project exploring the implementation of pharmacist-led structured medication reviews in primary care; 
  • SHIP – an Oxford and Thames Valley ARC-funded mixed methods project exploring the implementation of Hypertension Plus, a hypertension self-monitoring / self-management service in primary care;
  • Touch and Affect in health care interaction – a project funded by the Academy of Finland exploring the role of touch and emotion in different types of health care encounters, in three different cultural contexts.

She has published both empirical and methodological work including over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters for clinical, practitioner and social science audiences. Rebecca led the NIHR SPCR Bristol Archive Project, collecting video-recordings and linked data from over 300 routine primary care consultations between GPs and adult patients across 12 practices situated in neighbourhoods with high and low levels of deprivation. 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.

Rebecca is a member of the International Society for Conversation Analysis (ISCA)co-founded and has organised four of the biennial International meetings on ‘Conversation Analysis and Clinical Encounters.’ She is also a member of the teaching team for Oxford Qualitative Courses and leads a two-day course Introduction to Conversation Analysis and Health Care Encounters.

Rebecca is happy to hear from prospective Pre-doctoral fellowship candidates, DPhil students and NIHR Fellows (clinical and non-clinical), especially those interested in CA methods as applied to communication in primary health care settings.

Recent publications

More publications