The key informant technique

Fam Pract. 1996 Feb;13(1):92-7. doi: 10.1093/fampra/13.1.92.


Background and objective: This article considers the role of the key informant technique as a qualitative research method and examines the potential contribution of the approach to health care research.

Method: The principles underlying the technique and the advantages and disadvantages are considered, illustrated with examples from a range of social science studies.

Results and conclusion: An example of the author's own use of key informants in a study of the professional relationship between general practitioners and specialists is described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • England
  • Family Practice*
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Services Research*
  • Humans
  • Information Theory
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Medicine*
  • Research Design
  • Specialization*
  • State Medicine