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01-06-2017 | Original Article | Uitgave 3/2017 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 3/2017

Exploring patients’ reasons for participation in a medical education home visit program: a qualitative study in Malaysia

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 3/2017
Chai-Eng Tan, Aida Jaffar, Noorlaili Tohit, Zuhra Hamzah, Syahnaz Mohd Hashim



Direct contact with patients for medical education is essential in healthcare professional training. Patients who were recruited for a medical education home visit program in Malaysia did so on a voluntary basis without remuneration. This paper aims to explore their reasons for participation in this program.


An exploratory qualitative study was conducted on patients who had been visited during the 2012/2013 academic session. Purposive sampling was done to select adult participants from varying ethnicities and ages from the list of patients. In-depth interviews were conducted at the participants’ homes and were audio recorded. The transcripts of these interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.


A total of nine in-depth interviews were conducted. Four main themes were identified from thematic analysis: 1) Perceived meaning of the visit; 2) Perceived benefits and risks; 3) Past healthcare experiences; 4) Availability for visits. The home visits meant different things to different participants, including a teaching-learning encounter, a social visit, a charitable deed or a healthcare check-up. The benefits and risks of accepting unknown students to their homes and sharing their health issues with them had been weighed prior to participation. Prior experience with healthcare services such as gratitude to healthcare providers or having a relative in the healthcare profession increased their receptivity for involvement. Lastly, enabling factors such as availability of time would determine their acceptance for home visits.


Patients agree to participate in medical education activities on a voluntary basis for various reasons. Providing good healthcare service and sufficient preparation are crucial to increase patient receptivity for such activities.
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