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Stephanie Kumpunen

Area of study
Fellowship level
Year awarded
Host university
Department of Applied Health Research (DAHR)
University College London
Stephanie joined DAHR in September 2019 as a part-time MPhil/PhD student. She continues in her role at the Nuffield Trust as a Senior Fellow in Health Policy where she contributes to qualitative research, policy analysis, and evaluations. Her research interests include primary care and integrated health and social care, and she has co-authored reports covering models of GP collaboration, patient choice policies, and information sharing in paediatric care.

A critical analysis and development of rapid ethnographies in healthcare quality improvement


A wide range of rapid research approaches have arisen to make health care research findings available in practice when they are most needed (e.g. rapid ethnographies, rapid appraisals, etc.).

These approaches are characterised by the short duration of research, use of multiple methods for data collection and teams of researchers, formative research designs where findings are fed back while the research is ongoing, and the development of actionable findings.  

However, researchers have expressed concerns about the lack of defining characteristics, validity and rigour of some rapid research in health care, as well as the poor quality of reporting of study designs.

To ensure that rapid research is trusted and used by health and social care researchers and practitioners to improve health and care services, there is a need to explore and agree its defining characteristics and publication standards. 


This study aims to improve the quality of reporting of rapid research, namely that of rapid ethnographic and appraisal approaches that aim to improve the quality of health and social care services.
The objectives for the study are to: (a) synthesise and critically appraise the existing literature on rapid ethnographies and appraisals, (b) undertake a consensus exercise with an international panel of experts to produce draft standards on rapid ethnographies and appraisals, (c) examine and pilot these standards on one to two Rapid Service Evaluation Team projects thereby identifying how rigour may be lost and how existing methods could be improved, and (d) consolidate evidence and expert input into standards on rapid ethnographies and appraisals that can be disseminated to academia, policy and practice.

Watch to Stephanie’s HSR UK 2023 conference presentation, ‘What is missing in reports of rapid ethnographies that inform quality improvement in health and care? A scoping review’

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