Qualitative interviewing: methodological challenges in Arab settings
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Qualitative interviewing: methodological challenges in Arab settings

Sana Hawamdeh An associate professor of psychiatric mental health, Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Veena Raigangar Lecturer, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Aim To explore some of the main methodological challenges faced by interviewers in Arab settings, particularly during interviews with psychiatric nurses.

Background Interviews are a tool used commonly in qualitative research. However, the cultural norms and practices of interviewees must be considered to ensure that an appropriate interviewing style is used, a good interviewee-interviewer relationship formed and consent for participation obtained sensitively.

Data sources A study to explore the nature of psychiatric nurses’ practices that used unstructured interviews.

Review methods This is a methodology paper that discusses a personal experience of addressing many challenges that are specific to qualitative interviewing in Arab settings, supported by literature on the topic.

Discussion Suggestions for improving the interview process to make it more culturally sensitive are provided and recommendations for future research are made.

Conclusion Openness, flexibility and a reflexive approach by the researcher can help manage challenges in Arab settings.

Implications for research/practice Researchers should allow themselves to understand the cultural elements of a population to adapt interviewing methods with the aim of generating high quality qualitative research.

Nurse Researcher. 21, 3, 27-31. doi: 10.7748/nr2014.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 22 October 2012

Accepted: 25 March 2013

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