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Rebecca Barnes

BSc(Hons), PgDip., PhD


Senior Qualitative Researcher

Rebecca Barnes is a Senior Qualitative Researcher in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. She is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol.

Rebecca is an internationally recognised researcher and teacher of applied conversation analytic (CA) methods. 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 is a social scientist and expert in conversation analytic (CA) methods as applied to communication in health care settings. She has published both empirical and methodological work including over 60 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’s current NIHR funded research projects include:

  • OPEN – a mixed methods project with colleagues in Southampton, Bristol, UCL and Oxford exploring the management of common infections in out-of-hours care and producing training materials for Health Education England
  • COVID-111 – an extension to the OPEN project (see above) with colleagues in Southampton, Bristol, Exeter and Oxford exploring the telephone management of people affected or at risk of COVID-19 infection via NHS111 services
  • UnMaSC – a mixed methods project with colleagues in Southampton, UCL and Oxford exploring the delivery and receipt of standard care smoking cessation advice in the MaSC trial.

Rebecca’s research interests encompass the delivery of routine health care services and RCTs in health care settings. She is particularly interested in safety-netting practices across different community health care settings, evaluating how GP communication training initiatives play out practice, and exploring cultures of prescribing across different healthcare systems.

She 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.

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