Evidence and Practice

Clinical

Qualitative research interviewing: reflections on power, silence and assumptions

Qualitative research interviewing: reflections on power, silence and assumptions

Why you should read this article: • To explore the challenges novice researchers face in their early research interviews related to power dynamics and what are considered ‘data’ • To understand how previous interviewing experience can both support and hinder the novice researcher • To gain strategies to mitigate the challenges experienced when collecting data using narrative interviews Background Novice researchers can face many challenges throughout their journey as researchers in training, particularly when interviewing for qualitative research. Aim To present an authentic account of the challenges a novice researcher faced when collecting data using narrative interviews. Discussion The researcher reconsidered how previous interviews had involved power relations and the urge to seek a ‘correct’ answer from participants. The article explores what are considered ‘data’, as well as the use of laughter and silence to re-establish power dynamics. Conclusions Reflection, feedback from supervisors and peers, and ongoing research experience can help novice researchers understand the strengths and weaknesses of their previous interviews. Implications for practice Novice researchers may find this article useful when planning for challenges they may encounter when undertaking qualitative research.

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