• To understand the value of undertaking a feasibility pilot
• To explore how new technologies can be used as timely and effective tools for collecting data
• To recognise the specific consent and confidentiality requirements for using WhatsApp to collect and transmit data
Background Mobile phones are familiar to most nurses, but the applications available for voice recording and transfer of audio files in research may not be.
Aim To provide an overview of a pilot study which trialled the use of mobile phones, WhatsApp and phone interviews as a safe and reliable means of collecting data.
Discussion A pilot study was designed to test the use of: mobile phones as a safe and reliable way to record audio diaries as research data; WhatsApp to transmit the audio files; and phone interviews to explore them. Undertaking the pilot demonstrated that the tools proposed for collecting data were useable and acceptable to the target population and that the researcher’s guidance for doing so was satisfactory.
Conclusion New technologies enable innovation but trialling them for useability is important. Confidentiality and consent need to be carefully managed when using WhatsApp to ensure a study is compliant with data protection regulations.
Implications for practice Collection of research data digitally and remotely has become increasingly mainstream and relied on during the COVID 19 pandemic. The methods discussed in this article provide solutions for timely data collection that are particularly useful when the researcher is geographically distant from participants. The ‘in the moment’ reflective nature of the audio diaries could also be applicable to non-research settings – for example, as a method of assisting ongoing professional development and/or collection of reflective accounts.
Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2022.e1849Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Brimble MJ, Anstey S, Davies J et al (2022) Using mobile phones, WhatsApp and phone interviews to explore how children’s hospice nurses manage long-term relationships with parents: a feasibility pilot. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2022.e1849
Published online: 04 August 2022
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