• To gain insight into how to change data collection methods rather than abandoning research
• To consider how a researcher can stay true to narrative inquiry when interviewing remotely
• To examine the impact of Zoom and telephone interviews on data collection, ethics and person-centred research
Background The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected data collection for many researchers, in particular research that involves face-to-face interviews.
Aim To share learning about the challenges encountered when face-to-face interviews could not continue as planned in a study and how to adapt data collection so that it can continue despite severe disruption.
Discussion This article examines the considerations and actions taken by the authors to ensure the continuity of data collection. The research aimed to use narrative inquiry to understand the experiences of significant others supporting people in intensive care units with severe burn injuries. But the pandemic meant the researchers could not meet face-to-face with participants as originally intended and so they had to consider new ways to approach data collection. The authors explore the process of adapting the interviews to video conferencing and telephone use while preserving the study’s person-centred focus to remain coherent with narrative methodology.
Conclusion Adapting data collection is valuable in ensuring the continuity of research. Careful consideration and planning are required to ensure the research remains robust and ethically sound.
Implications for practice Adapting data collection methods can allow for greater flexibility when participants cannot attend face-to-face interviews.
Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2022.e1874Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Flannery E, Peters K, Murphy G et al (2022) Managing the elephant in the room: responding to COVID-19’s impact on data collection. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2022.e1874
Published online: 21 December 2022
Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now