Table 1

Summary of themes relating to use of sequential simulation for public engagement in novel diagnostics

Key themes identifiedSummaryQuotations from transcript
Participatory engagementAll participants actively contributed to small group discussions that often overran and continued into breaks and over lunch.‘We were made comfortable to contribute’. W2
‘Feeling that the patient perspective is important in achieving better results’. W2
Simulation and empathetic engagementParticipants felt the simulations gave structure to the events allowing them to focus on the simulated patients’ journey and understand the consequences of the new diagnostic strategies. Participants who had been through the diagnostic pathway of OG cancer commented how similar it was to their experiences although there were some comments that the pathway was oversimplified in some areas, for example, ease of access to GP appointment and ease in which the GP undertook the test within a consultation.‘The process I just watched echoed exactly what I experienced when I was diagnosed’. W1
‘The simulation of patient/GP scenarios to add context’. W2
‘It really stays in your mind, you know, you have a picture’. W2
‘It makes it more real’. W2
Why participants attendedAttendance at the workshops was linked to the method of recruitment. In the second workshop that was recruited through advertisements in the local areas (see methods), we explored the motivation for attendance. This was broadly divided into those with a community interest in new diagnostic and medical developments and those that had experience of cancer either personally or as family or carers and wanted to learn more and contribute to research in this area.‘I am interested in this way of, it's not only researchers and doctors thinking about how to develop it, but they are also listening carefully to how people would feel with these new developments’. W2
‘This (workshop) interested me because as it just so happens last year I had three gastroscopies and I know what they feel like’ W2
‘I organize health workshops with community development, with community organisations, we work in the local community and we stress prevention and that sort of thing’. W2
  • W1, W2 or W3 denotes workshop where quotation was made.

  • GP, general practitioner; OG, oesophagogastric; W, workshop.