Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
About a year ago the BMJ’s editors were invited by seventy six senior academics from 11 countries, “ to reconsider their editorial policy of rejecting qualitative research on the grounds of low priority.“ (1)
Despite gathering an impressive number of supporting responses to their cause (2), that plea for a reconsideration of the value of qualitative research, seems to have gone largely unheeded.
Coulter’s editorial detailed the OECD health ministers’ recent determination to move away from a reliance on mortality rates and clinical indicators which give “ ..only a partial view of the value of health care,” to assessments of what people really feel about their health care, “ ..it’s impact on their well being and their ability to play an active role in society.” (2)
Expecting the BMJ to change to a more qualitative- friendly, research content may be akin to turning a rudderless battleship, or tug boat, onto a different course, but surely Coulter and the OECD make a strong case for open-mindedness in this respect ?