Aim: To outline some of the challenges facing people affected by advanced disease who want to participate in research interviews, and to present Pictor, a method that can help manage some of these challenges. Background: Patients and lay-carers may have many issues that affect their ability to participate in qualitative research interviews. These issues can include the physical effects of disease, its treatments and emotional distress. Data source: An ongoing study exploring experiences of advanced disease when multiple agencies are involved. Review methods: The Pictor technique involves the creation of a chart that supports the exploration of the participant's experience of roles and relationships. The technique has previously been used with health professionals and this paper reports on its use with lay-participants. Discussion: The technique accommodates some disease-related difficulties which helped people with advanced disease to reflect on their experiences of primary care service provision. Participants then communicated these experiences with the researcher. Conclusion: Pictor is a tool that can help manage some of the difficulties experienced by people with advanced disease who are participating in research interviews. This has benefits for researchers and participants.