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Vikki Entwistle

2003-04 Harkness Fellow Reader Programme director for delivery of care research Health Services Research Unit (HSRU) University of Aberdeen

Harkness Project Title: Patients' Roles in Patient Safety Initiatives: An Analysis of Current Practice

Mentor: Troyen Brennan, M.D., J.D., Ph.D.

Placement: Harvard Medical School

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Vikki Entwistle, a 2003-04 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is reader and programme director for delivery of care research at the Health Services Research Unit (HSRU), University of Aberdeen. Her research and policy interests relate broadly to patients’ perspectives on and contributions to the quality of health care. Recent projects have examined the provision of information to patients, patients’ experiences of treatment decision-making, methods for assessing patients’ roles in treatment decision-making, public perceptions of different methods of feeding back their views to health services and research funding organizations’ efforts to secure consumer involvement in health services research. Entwistle has served on a number of NHS advisory committees and is deputy editor for Health Expectations: An International Journal of Participation in Health Care.


Project: The objectives of Entwistle’s project were to identify and critically analyze the range of ways in which patients, their families, patient organizations, and the public are encouraged to contribute to efforts to improve patient safety.  In particular, she identified ways in which patients are enabled to contribute to the safety of their own care, and safety in health care more generally.   She conducted a literature review and key informant interviews with staff at federal agencies, quality improvement organizations, innovative providers, and consumer advocates. 


Career Activity Since Fellowship


  • Professor of Values in Health Care, University of Dundee, 2007
  • Editor,  Health Expectations, 2007
  • Professor and Associate Director, Social Dimensions of Health Care, Universities of Dundee and St Andrews, 2007
  • International Visiting Research Fellow, University of Sydney, 2007
  • Reader and Deputy Director, Social Dimensions of Health Institute, Universities of Dundee and St. Andrews, 2005

Current Position: Professor of Health Services Research and Ethics, Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen(Updated 1/2014)


E-Mail: [email protected]

Selected Publications:


Skea, ZC., MacLennan, SJ., Entwistle, VA. & N'dow, J. 'Communicating good care: A qualitative study of what people with urological cancer value in interactions with health care providers'. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 2013.

Kazimierczak, KA., Skea, ZC., Dixon-Woods, M., Entwistle, VA., Feldman-Stewart, D., N'dow, JMO. & MacLennan, SJ. 'Provision of cancer information as a "support for navigating the knowledge landscape": Findings from a critical interpretive literature synthesis'. European Journal of Oncology Nursing 2013; vol 17, no. 3, pp. 360-369.

Rychetnik, L., Carter, SM., Abelson, J., Thornton, H., Barratt, A., Entwistle, VA., MacKenzie, G., Salkeld, G. & Glasziou, P. 'Enhancing citizen engagement in cancer screening through deliberative democracy'. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2013; vol 105, no. 6, pp. 380-386.

Greenway, JC., Entwistle, VA. & Termeulen, R. 'Ethical tensions associated with the promotion of public health policy in health visiting: a qualitative investigation of health visitors' views'. Primary health care research & development 2013; vol 14, no. 2, pp. 200-211.

Greenway, JC., Entwistle, VA. & Termeulen, R. 'Health visitor professional education and post-qualification clinical supervision: how well does it equip practitioners for dealing with ethical tensions associated with promoting the public health agenda to individual clients?'. Primary health care research & development 2013; vol 14, no. 1, pp. 90-102.

Entwistle, VA. & Watt, IS. 'Treating patients as persons: a capabilities approach to support delivery of person-centered care'. American Journal of Bioethics 2013; vol 13, no. 8, pp. 29-39.

Entwistle, VA. & Watt, IS. 'A capabilities approach to person-centered care: response to open peer commentaries on "treating patients as persons: a capabilities approach to support delivery of person-centered care"'. American Journal of Bioethics 2013, vol 13, no. 8, pp. W1-4.

Easton, P., Entwistle, VA. & Williams, B. 'How the stigma of low literacy can impair patient-professional spoken interactions and affect health: insights from a qualitative investigation'. BMC Health Services Research 2013, vol 13, 319.

Aitchison, PE., Entwistle, VA., Van Teijlingen, E., Whitford, HM., Davidson, T., Humphrey, T. & Tucker, JS. 'Asking women to complete health and maternal histories for maternity records: A qualitative study'. British Journal of Midwifery 2013; vol 21, no. 11, pp. 22-28.

McCann, S., Campbell, M. & Entwistle, V.  'Recruitment to clinical trials: a meta-ethnographic synthesis of studies of reasons for participation'. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 2013; vol 18, no. 4, pp. 233-241.

Brennan, N., Barnes, R., Calnan, M., Corrigan, O., Dieppe, P. & Entwistle, V. 'Trust in the health-care provider-patient relationship: a systematic mapping review of the evidence base'. International journal for quality in health care : Journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care 2012; ISQua, vol 25, no. 6, pp. 682-688.

Entwistle, VA., Firnigl, D., Ryan, M., Francis, JJ. & Kinghorn, P. 'Which experiences of health care delivery matter to service users and why?: A critical interpretive synthesis and conceptual map'. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 2012; vol 17, no. 2, pp. 70-78.

Entwistle, VA., Cribb, A. & Watt, IS. 'Shared decision-making: Enhancing the clinical relevance'. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 2012; Supplement, vol 105, no. 10, pp. 416-421.

Gillies, K. & Entwistle, VA. 'Supporting positive experiences and sustained participation in clinical trials: Looking beyond information provision'. Journal of Medical Ethics 2012; vol 38, no. 12, pp. 751-756.

Greig, G., Entwistle, VA. & Beech, N. 'Addressing complex healthcare problems in diverse settings: Insights from activity theory'. Social Science & Medicine 2012; vol 74, no. 3, pp. 305-312.

Peckham, S., Mays, N., Hughes, D., Sanderson, M., Allen, P., Prior, L., Entwistle, V., Thompson, A. & Davies, H. 'Devolution and Patient Choice: Policy Rhetoric versus Experience in Practice'. Social Policy & Administration 2012; vol 46, no. 2, pp. 199-218.

Skea, ZC., MacLennan, S., Entwistle, VA. & N'Dow, JMO 'Enabling mutual helping?: Examining variable needs for facilitated peer support'. Patient Education and Counseling 2011; vol 85, no. 2, pp. e120-e125.

KORAL Study Group. 'Developing a placebo-controlled trial in surgery: issues of design, acceptability and feasibility' Trials 2011, vol 12, no. -, 50.

Entwistle, VA., France, EF., Wyke, S., Jepson, R., Hunt, K., Ziebland, S. & Thompson, A. 'How information about other people's personal experiences can help with healthcare decision-making: A qualitative study'. Patient Education and Counseling 2011; vol 85, no. 3, pp. e291-298.

Carter, SM., Entwistle, VA., McCaffery, K. & Rychetnik, L. 'Shared health governance: The potential danger of oppressive "healthism"'. American Journal of Bioethics 2011, vol 11, no. 7, pp. 57-59.

France, EF., Wyke, S., Ziebland, S., Entwistle, VA. & Hunt, K. 'How personal experiences feature in women's accounts of use of information for decisions about antenatal diagnostic testing for foetal abnormality' Social Science & Medicine 2011; vol 72, no. 5, pp. 755-762.

Buetow, S. & Entwistle, V. 'Pay-for-virtue: an option to improve pay-for-performance?' Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 2011; vol 17, no. 5, pp. 894-898.

Cribb, A. & Entwistle, VA. 'Shared decision making: Trade-offs between narrower and broader conceptions'. Health Expectations 2011; vol 14, no. 2, pp. 210-219.

Shepherd, HL., Barratt, A., Trevena, LJ., McGeechan, K., Carey, K., Epstein, RM., Butow, PN., Del Mar, CB., Entwistle, V. & Tattersall, MHN. 'Three questions that patients can ask to improve the quality of information physicians give about treatment options: A cross-over trial'. Patient Education and Counseling 2011, vol 84, no. 3, pp. 379-385.

McCann, SK., Campbell, MK. & Entwistle, VA. 'Reasons for participating in randomised controlled trials: conditional altruism and considerations for self'. Trials 2010, vol 11, pp. 31.

Campbell, MK., Skea, ZC., Sutherland, AG., Cuthbertson, B., Entwistle, VA., McDonald, AM., Norrie, JDT., Carlson, RV., Bridgman, S. & KORAL study group . 'Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of arthroscopic lavage in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: a mixed methods study of the feasibility of conducting a surgical placebo-controlled trial (the KORAL study)'. Health Technology Assessment 2010, vol 14, no. 5, pp. 1-180.

Francis, JJ., Johnston, M., Robertson, C., Glidewell, L., Entwistle, VA., Eccles, MP. & Grimshaw, JM. 'What is an adequate sample size?: Operationalising data saturation for theory-based interview studies'. Psychology & Health 2010, vol 25, no. 10, pp. 1229-1245.

PIPS (Patient Involvement in Patient Safety) Group  'Speaking up about safety concerns: multi-setting qualitative study of patients' views and experiences'. BMJ Quality & Safety 2010, vol 19, no. 6, e33.

Entwistle, VA., Carter, SM., Cribb, A. & McCaffery, K.  'Supporting patient autonomy: The importance of clinician-patient relationships'. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2010, vol 25, no. 7, pp. 741-745.

Peat, M., Entwistle, V., Hall, J., Birks, Y. & Golder, S. 'Scoping review and approach to appraisal of interventions intended to involve patients in patient safety'. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy 2010; vol 15, no. Suppl. 1, pp. 17-25.

Hall, J., Peat, M., Birks, Y., Golder, S., Entwistle, V., Gilbody, S., Mansell, P., McCaughan, D., Sheldon, T., Watt, I., Williams, B. & Wright, J. 'Effectiveness of interventions designed to promote patient involvement to enhance safety: A systematic review'. Quality & safety in health care 2010; vol 19, no. 5, e10.

Easton, P., Entwistle, VA. & Williams, B. . 'Health in the 'hidden population' of people with low literacy: A systematic review of the literature'. BMC Public Health 2010; vol 10, 459.

O'Connor, AM., Bennett, CL., Stacey, D., Barry, M., Col, NF., Eden, KB., Entwistle, VA., Fiset, V., Holmes-Rovner, M., Khangura, S., Llewellyn-Thomas, H. & Rovner, D.  'Decision aids for people facing health treatment or screening decisions'. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2009 no. 3.

Ryan, M., Watson, V. & Entwistle, V.  'Rationalising the 'irrational': a think aloud study of discrete choice experiment responses'. Health Economics 2009; vol 18, no. 3, pp. 321-336.

Potter, BK., Avard, D., Entwistle, V., Kennedy, C., Chakraborty, P., McGuire, M. & Wilson, BJ. 'Ethical, legal, and social issues in health technology assessment for prenatal/preconceptional and newborn screening: a workshop report'. Public health genomics 2009; vol 12, no. 1, pp. 4-10.


Peat M, Entwistle VA, Hall J, Birks Y, Golder S on behalf of the PIPS Group. “A scoping review and approach to appraisal of interventions intended to involve patients in patient safety.” Journal of Health Services Research and Policy

Entwistle VA. “Hurtful comments are harmful comments: respectful communication is not just an optional extra in health care.” (Editorial) Health Expectations, 2008; 11: 319-320.

Entwistle VA. “Differing Perspectives on Patient Involvement in Patient Safety” (Invited commentary), Quality and Safety in Health Care 2007; 16:140-142.

Entwistle VA, Quick O. “Trust in the context of patient safety problems”. Journal of Health Organisation and Management, 2006; 20: 397-416.

Entwistle V, Hanley B. “Involving the Public,” In: Oxford Handbook of Public Health (2nd Edition); eds: Pencheon D, Gray JAM, Guest C, Melzer D.  Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2006.

Entwistle VA, Mello MM, Brennan TA. “Advising Patients about Patient Safety: Current Initiatives Risk Shifting Responsibility,” Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety 2005; 31: 483-494.

Entwistle VA. “Nursing Shortages and Patient Safety Problems in Hospital Care: Is Clinical Monitoring by Families Part of the Solution?” (Editorial), Health Expectations 2004; 7:1-5.

Skea Z, Harry V, Bhattacharya S, Entwistle V, Williams B, Maclennan G, Templeton A.  “Women’s Perceptions of Decision Making about Hysterectomy,” British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2004; 111: 133-142.

Entwistle VA, Watt IS, Gilhooly K, Bugge C, Haites N, Walker A. “Assessing Patients’ Participation and Quality of Decision Making: Insights from a Study of Routine Practice in Diverse Settings,” Patient Education and Counselling 2004; 55:105-113.

Entwistle V. “Trust and Shared Decision Making: An Emerging Research Agenda” (Editorial), Health Expectations 2004; 7: 271-273.

Entwistle V. “Patients’ Information Environments: Deserts, Jungles and Less Hostile Alternatives” (Editorial), Health Expectations 2003; 6: 93-96.

Entwistle VA, Andrew JE, Emslie MJ, Walker KA, Dorrian C, Angus VC, Conniff AO. “Public Opinions about Systems for ‘Feeding Back’ Views to the National Health Service,” Quality and Safety in Health Care 2003; 12: 435-442.