Qualitative Research Interview

Afza.Malik GDA

 Interview In Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research Interview

Research Interview,Factors Direct  an Interview,Characteristics of an Interview,Elements of an Interview,Types of Interview,Characteristics of an Interview,Benefits of Interview,Context of an Interview,Characteristics of a good interview.

Research Interview

    The interview is a major data collection strategy in qualitative research that aims to obtain textual, qualitative data reflecting the personal perspective of the interviewee. The interview creates an interactional situation in a face-to-face encounter between researchers and participants. 

    In the study the interviewer acts as the instrument and through carefully designed questions, attempts to elicit the other person's opinions, attitudes, or knowledge about a given topic. Research interviews have historically provided the foundation for sociological and anthropological studies that attempted to understand other societies and cultures. 

    As nurse scientists were trained in these methods in the late 1960s and the 1970s, they began using research interviews in nursing studies. Some researchers who seek quantitative data from questionnaires may refer to the structured, standardized survey that is administered face-to-face to large groups of people. 

    The present definition, however, refers to the in-depth and generally less structured interview used in qualitative research.

Factors Direct  an Interview

    The research method (eg, grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography) suggests the style and purpose of the interview questions. The research objectives are fundamental to the interview questions to maintain the integrity of the research. 

    Grounded theory research intended to discover contexts, phases, and processes of a given phenomenon requires questions designed to acquire knowledge, such as, what is the context of death in a nursing home or at home or what are the phases of dying? 

    Phenomenological research that aims to capture what is referred to as “the lived experience” may use only one general question: Please tell me all that you can about dying. 

    Ethnographic research that is focused on culture may ask about which family members are involved in decisions concerning death and what their roles are.

Characteristics of an Interview

    Interviews are structured in phases the introduction, the working phase, and termination. In the introduction the researcher gives a personal introduction, states the anticipated length of time of the interview, and makes some initial comments to relax the participant and to assist with the transition from social conversation to research interview. 

    In the working phase the themes of the research are introduced, and the researcher and participant work towards generating a shared understanding. In the termination phase the interview draws to a close, and often brief social conversation occurs again.

Elements of an Interview

    The interview demands careful thought about the nature, wording, and sequence of questions. Generally, questions move from general to specific, becoming more focused as themes emerge and as data from other participants suggest additional leads. 

    Questions should be unambiguous, meaningful, and successful in involving the interviewee in the process. The participants in the research are often helpful in criticizing the usefulness and appropriateness of the questions and suggesting others that may be more relevant or successful in obtaining the desired data.

Types of Interview

    Interviews are of two types: formal and informal. Formal interviews are scheduled as to time and place and generally occur over a period of 1 to 2 hours. Informal interviews are those used in participant observation, when the interviewer spends time in a specific environment and interviews participants as they appear on the scene or around a significant event. 

    Although effective interviews, especially informal ones, may appear simple and comfortable, an expert interviewer is always both in and out of the interview. The interviewer listens carefully to the interviewee and anticipates how to direct the interview to accomplish the aims of the research.

Characteristics of an Interview

    Interviews are characterized as structured and focused when all questions are given in the same order to participants. 

    Interviews in qualitative research studies are generally semi-focused ones in which information about a certain subject is desired from all participants, but the phrasing and sequence of the questions may be varied to reflect the characteristics of the participants in the context. 

    Time is permitted to encourage participants to introduce other subjects they believe are relevant and to elaborate, often with the help of interviewer's probes, on earlier comments. 

    Participants' interpretations of meanings and definitions are valued. Such information is obtained only through open ended questions and free flowing conversation that follow the thinking of the interviewee. In a sense, the interviewee teaches the researcher about a particular experience or event.

    Interviews are generally tape-recorded, and the researcher takes handwritten notes that jog his or her memory during the interview to return to a topic, to ask a hypothetical question, or to request new, related information. These taped interviews are transcribed as soon as possible by the researcher or a transcriptionist and cross checked against the audiotape for accuracy.

Benefits of Interview

    Interviewing establishes the foundation for data analysis. The researcher's interview questions and responses to the interviewee must be analyzed in a reflective manner to ascertain the quality of the interview. 

    Is the interviewer cutting off the interviewee? Is the interviewer asking closed instead of open-ended questions? Is the interviewer asking relevant questions in a sensitive way? 

    Is the interviewer giving the interviewee time to reflect and to complete his or her comments? Unfocused, insensitive interviewing yields poor data. Quality data result from the expression of affective responses and detailed personal information.

Context of an Interview

    The complexity of interviewing becomes apparent in varied contexts. Interviewing individuals from a culture different from that of the interviewer presents other issues; Similarly interviewing the extremely poor or the extremely rich has its own sets of problems. 

    In the past, nurses have relied on sociological and anthropological researchers for guidance. Nurse methodologists agree that it is now time to identify and address issues in interviewing that are especially relevant to nursing topics and populations.

Characteristics of a Good Interview

    Good interviews provide access to the heart. Such personal information, essential to qualitative research that aims to access human meaning, is a gift. The researcher reciprocates by listening carefully and attempting to render or interpret the experience of the other as accurately as possible. 

    An insensitive interviewer can harm the interviewee, leaving the person psychologically depleted or even wounded. Good interviewers leave interviewees feeling that they gained from the interview.

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