Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2021/22: public views of telephone and video appointments in general practice

Findings from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (2021/22) of public views towards face-to-face and remote appointments in General Practices. The key themes of the research are to understand comfort, ease, influences on, and impacts of remote appointments on public attitudes.

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3. Study Design & Methodology

In 2021, the Scottish Government identified consultation methods as a priority theme to contribute to recent publications about public understanding and expectations of general practice services. Questions about 'attitudes towards accessing healthcare services digitally' were developed in partnership with ScotCen[5] (see Annex 8.1 for list of questions). The Scottish Government commissioned these questions to be included as a module in the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSA) 2021/22.

An initial pilot study, which included seven questions on views of remote health care, was conducted with 14 people to trial the wording of the questions and raise any issues. After adaptions were made, ScotCen undertook their annual research into the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey in 2021/22. Fieldwork for this research took place between October 2021 and March 2022. Relevant demographics and characteristics were agreed for cross examination. ScotCen sent anonymised raw data and data tables with indications of significant findings in Excel format to the Scottish Government in July 2022 for analysis and reporting.

3.1 Impact of COVID-19

Prior to the pandemic SSA interviews were conducted face-to-face, however due to restrictions in place this survey was conducted over the phone. The fieldwork was to take place over two months, however with the impact of COVID-19 on methodology and response rates, the fieldwork was extended by three months in order to capture the minimum response rate. This survey is referred to as SSA 2021/22.

The impact of COVID-19 on the research methodology means that this data cannot be straightforwardly compared with other years in the series.

3.2 Sample and Weighting

Respondents were selected using the Postcode Address File (PAF). In previous years the postcode samples would be clustered to accommodate the interviewer conducting face-to-face interviews. As this was not required, the list of postcodes, selected through probability sampling, was stratified to over-sample rural areas and the most deprived SIMD 2020 quintile (as underrepresented groups). Invitations to take part were issued to 21,775 addresses. Overall, 1,130 people took part in the telephone survey.

The weighting applied to the data in this report are to account for potential bias in the sample, non-response, and the over-sampling of rural areas and the most deprived SIMD quintile. Further information about weighting can be found in the SSA Technical Information Report. A summary of respondent demographics and characteristics can be found in Annex 8.2.

3.3 Statistical Information

All percentages used in the results below are based on weighted data. All figures were rounded up to the nearest percentage which explains some discrepancies within graph figures that may be found in this report. Any figures that note a '0%' indicate that less than 0.5% of respondents selected this answer. Significant differences were tested using a logistic regression analysis and any significant difference noted is at the 95% confidence level or above, unless otherwise stated.



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