Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ethical principles: Ethics of interviews

The place where an interview takes place is important. Many people feel more comfortable being interviewed in their own home environment, though others may prefer a clinic or university room. In the OKIS study, we will ask individual patients where they would like the interview to take place, and the researcher will turn up promptly for the appointment. Interviews will last only as long as the participant wishes, and they may stop the interview at any time.

When interviewing is carried out with regard to the interviewee’s agenda, with empathy and understanding, it can be a very positive experience for study participants. Many people are pleased that someone is taking an interest in their lives and concerns. Good research interviewers try to ‘connect’ with participants, and encourage them to tell personal and detailed stories about themselves. For this to be done ethically, it must be done with respect for the interviewee as an individual.

Providing a summary of study findings to study participants is an important ethical aspect of the research process. In the OKIS study, everyone who gives of their time to take part in an interview will receive a summary of the overall research findings once the study is complete.

Blogger: Dorothy McCaughan

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