Developing and conducting appreciative inquiry interviews
Evidence and practice    

Developing and conducting appreciative inquiry interviews

Fiona Arundell Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Western Sydney University – Parramatta South Campus, Penrith NSW, Australia
Athena Sheehan Associate professor, Western Sydney University – Parramatta South Campus, Penrith NSW, Australia
Kath Peters Associate professor, Western Sydney University – Parramatta South Campus, Penrith NSW, Australia

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the structure of an appreciative inquiry interview

  • To identify potential challenges associated with conducting an appreciative inquiry interview

  • To develop strategies to reduce challenges during an appreciative inquiry interview

Background The appreciative inquiry (AI) interview follows a specific format and needs to be planned and developed before implementation. AI questions are designed to draw on the interviewee’s experiences, commencing with general questioning and progressing to more focused questioning.

Aim To explain how to plan and undertake AI interviews, and to discuss issues that nurse researchers might encounter.

Discussion This article is based on the first author’s experience of undertaking an AI doctoral study. The primary method of collecting data for the study was AI interviews. The more focused questioning related to participants’ experiences of positive actions or behaviours. Although questioning was positive in nature and participant-centric, conducting the interviews was more problematic than the first author anticipated. Some participants struggled to recall positive memories to share.

Conclusion The unexpected response to the interview questions required the first author to examine her practices, as well as beliefs and judgements relating to AI. This reflexivity assisted in implementing changes to the study’s process, resulting in a more positive experience for her and the participants.

Implications for practice Researchers using the AI interview require the capacity to be self-critical and change the process if necessary to enrich the outcome.

Nurse Researcher. 29, 4, 36-43. doi: 10.7748/nr.2021.e1811


Peer review

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

Conflict of interest

None declared


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