Qualitative research interviewing: reflections on power, silence and assumptions
evidence and practice    

Qualitative research interviewing: reflections on power, silence and assumptions

Joanne Durkin PhD Student, School of Health, University of New England, Armidale, Australia
Debra Jackson Professor of Nursing, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Kim Usher Professor of Nursing, University of New England, Armidale, Australia

Why you should read this article:
  • To explore the challenges novice researchers face in their early research interviews related to power dynamics and what are considered ‘data’

  • To understand how previous interviewing experience can both support and hinder the novice researcher

  • To gain strategies to mitigate the challenges experienced when collecting data using narrative interviews

Background Novice researchers can face many challenges throughout their journey as researchers in training, particularly when interviewing for qualitative research.

Aim To present an authentic account of the challenges a novice researcher faced when collecting data using narrative interviews.

Discussion The researcher reconsidered how previous interviews had involved power relations and the urge to seek a ‘correct’ answer from participants. The article explores what are considered ‘data’, as well as the use of laughter and silence to re-establish power dynamics.

Conclusions Reflection, feedback from supervisors and peers, and ongoing research experience can help novice researchers understand the strengths and weaknesses of their previous interviews.

Implications for practice Novice researchers may find this article useful when planning for challenges they may encounter when undertaking qualitative research.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2020.e1725

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

jdurkin3@myune.edu.au

Conflict of interest

None declared

Durkin J, Jackson D, Usher K (2020) Qualitative research interviewing: reflections on power, silence and assumptions. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2020.e1725

Published online: 24 September 2020

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