Qualitative interviews

H. Thomas, S. Earthy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Qualitative interviews are widely used in health research. A central feature is accessing the emic (insider) perspective. Key substantive topics include views and experiences of patients, their families and friends and those of health care professionals; lay understanding of health and illness; life course events including pregnancy and birth, and death, dying and bereavement; and health issues in the workplace. Qualitative interviewing has a long history in social and health research methodologies offering the opportunity to explore participants’ own viewpoint and ideas in a less structured manner than formal questionnaire design permits. Sociologists of health and illness and health psychologists have made notable contributions to the development of this methodological approach, often grounded in their own research experience. The complexity of preparation for interviewing and the process of conducting interviews raise challenges for the researcher. Analysis and writing present further challenges. Journal style and word length may constrain the finished paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Health Research in the Social Sciences
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781800885691
ISBN (Print)9781800885684
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameSociology, Social Policy and Education 2023


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