Conducting Interviews for Health Research

Over the next month or so, I’m scheduled to interview members of a handful of general practice teams from GPs to practice managers and other practiced employed staff. The interviews will give me an insight as to what the practices are currently doing to discover and subsequently map the diversity in their own patient population.

I decided to arrange a meeting with Clare Jackson, a member of the SAPPHIRE team possessing years of experience in interviewing.   She was very helpful and able to give me tips as to how to get the most out of every interview (and how to save it when/if things start going pear-shaped!)

Clare has conducted challenging interviews as part her ongoing Oracle study, talking to children in hospital with cancer, and sometimes their parents too. Being fully aware of the interviewee’s background and circumstances was one of the central points I noted. Knowing this will help in selecting which interviewing techniques to deploy during the interview and will hopefully result in interesting responses for analysis later.

Important tip when conducting research with healthcare professionals:

Be aware of time –  Many health professionals are limited to the amount of time they can spend away from dealing directly with patients and patient records. It is important to remain concious of time to contain topic digressions and to steer them back to the interview’s original focus.


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