A nurse researcher’s guide to reflexive interviewing
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A nurse researcher’s guide to reflexive interviewing

Holly Lear PhD student, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland
Winifred Eboh Lecturer (adult nursing), Study Abroad lead, School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex, Colchester, England
Lesley Diack Honorary research fellow, Faculty of Health and Social Care, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland

Background In a wider doctoral study related to unfavourable experiences of nursing students studying abroad, the researcher undertook a reflexive interview to reduce the potential for bias.

Aim To discuss a method for conducting reflexive interviews and recommend their use to nurse researchers.

Discussion A reflexive interview was undertaken to reduce bias and pilot an original interview instrument. A senior researcher interviewed the researcher using original questions that would be used to interview participants in the wider doctoral study. The questions required validation and therefore the reflexive interview acted as a pilot.

Conclusion This process acted as a learning opportunity for the researcher, improving interview skills such as keeping in mind the respondent’s feelings, paying attention to the ratio of eye-contact to note-taking and consciously slowing the speed of asking questions. Biases were revealed through the listening guide, a reflexive method of analysis underpinned by experiential education. These included the beliefs that sending institutions insufficiently prepare nursing students to study abroad, such trips may not benefit the host locations and students study abroad merely to have an adventure.

Implications for practice The reflexive interview exposed implicit biases and enabled the researcher to pilot an original interview instrument. The recommendation for this reflexive method is justified in that it enables introspection, reduces bias and encourages social transformation.

Nurse Researcher. 25, 4, 35-42. doi: 10.7748/nr.2018.e1550



Peer review

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

Conflict of interest

None declared

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Received: 16 January 2017

Accepted: 08 September 2017

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