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Ethnography as a methodological descriptor: the editors' reply
  1. Mary Dixon-Woods1,
  2. Kaveh G Shojania2
  1. 1 Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  2. 2 Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor Mary Dixon-Woods, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, 2nd Floor, Adrian Building, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK; md11{at}

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Dr Jowsey worries that the use of the term ‘ethnographic’ in the title of a recent short report by Lamba et al 1 of a study of patient safety in team rounds risks watering down the meaning of ethnography as a research methodology. The data for the study were collected by one observer, who used a structured data collection form to record patient safety issues that were brought up or occurred during team rounds, as well as identifying any consequences and whether the issue was actionable. The observational data regarding issues were categorised using a set of thematic categories derived from the London Protocol, and were summarised using descriptive statistics.

Jowsey notes that the Lamba et al 1 article identifies in its title and methods …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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