A reflection on the challenges in interviewing Arab participants
Evidence and practice    

A reflection on the challenges in interviewing Arab participants

Rasmieh Mustafa Al-amer Assistant professor, Nursing School, Isra Private University, Amman, Jordan
Lucie Ramjan Lecturer, Western Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia
Paul Glew Lecturer, Western Sydney University – Hawkesbury Campus, New South Wales, Australia
Tamara Taysir Darwish Doctor, Jordan University Hospital, Amman, Jordan
Sue Randall Lecturer, School of Rural Health, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Yenna Salamonson Associate professor, Western Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia

Background Cultural beliefs and ways of thinking need to be considered when interviewing Arab participants with chronic diseases.

Aim To provide insights into the challenges of interviewing Arab participants.

Discussion This paper taps into the first author’s experiences of interviewing ten Arab participants with type 2 diabetes and coexisting depression. Issues relating to gatekeeping, gender, participants’ privacy and superstitious thinking need to be taken into consideration, particularly when discussing sensitive topics that may challenge social norms. These issues can influence the building of rapport, which may affect the depth of information collected.

Conclusion This paper offers insight and recommendations for other researchers conducting qualitative research with Arab participants.

Implications for practice Paramount in conducting qualitative studies with Arab participants are: an early, open discussion about personal space with the participants and their families; matching the genders of participants and interviewers for interviews; and involving participants in the selection of pseudonyms.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2018.e1559


Al-amer RM, Ramjan L, Glew P et al (2018) A reflection on the challenges in interviewing Arab participants. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2018.e1559



Peer review

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

Conflict of interest


Published online: 29 May 2018

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