University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


Background: Often researchers use only one interview method within a single study. However, it is increasingly common for a variety of interview methods to be employed within a project. Providing choice to participants may facilitate recruitment, particularly when research focuses on a sensitive subject. Aim: This paper aims to explore participants’ reasons for their choice of interview method in qualitative research focusing on a sensitive subject. Methods: Qualitative data was collected from 12 participants regarding their choice of interview method (face-to-face, Skype, telephone or email) in a wider study investigating parents’ experiences following their child's burn-injury. Interview data was transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis was used to analyse responses. Results: Participants most frequently chose to take part in an interview by telephone (n = 5), followed by email (n = 4), then Skype (n = 2), and face-to-face (n = 1). Four themes emerged suggesting that participants’ decisions to participate via a particular method were determined by personal convenience, their belief in their ability to be open with the researcher despite potential upset caused by the topic, their ability to get a “feel” for the researcher, and concern about giving adequate depth in responses. Conclusions: Flexibility regarding the ways in which participants can take part in qualitative research may improve participant access to research, recruitment, and response-rate. Although, the depth and quantity of data gathered using different methods can vary. It is important that researchers consider the procedures and appropriateness of using different methods of interviewing and what impact such methods might have upon themselves and their participants.

Research outputs

ID: 20127743