Oral Techniques

Bernhardt, Jay M. & Felter, Elizabeth M. (2004). Online pediatric information seeking among mothers of young children: results from a qualitative study using focus groups. Journal of Medical Internet Research 6(1), 1-7. DOI: 10.2196/jmir.6.1.e7.

Bernhardt and Felter conducted focus groups among mothers with at least one child less than 5-year and used the internet within the last 6 months. The focus groups were conducted, in order to understand how these young mothers how they choose which websites are the most trustworthy for pediatric information (e.g., stages of fetal development or specific ailment) and why they choose to go to the web versus other sources for pediatric information. This type of article would be useful for any qualitative researcher that would want to look further into how underlying societal structures/processes and culture influence certain subcultures or common elements of a group. (MR)

Eysenbach, Gunther & Köhler, Christian. (2002). How do consumers search for and appraise health information on the world wide web? Qualitative study using focus groups, usability tests, and in-depth interviews. The British Medical Journal 324, 573-577. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7337.573

Eysenbach and Köhler conducted a research project aiming at how consumers examine a website about health information as trustworthy through focus groups, observational studies, and interviews that were conducted immediately after the observational studies. In this project, the researchers decided to ask for volunteers to participate in their study which consisted of a range of people. This is a useful article to understand how qualitative methods enhance the other to enhance the rigor of a research project. (MR)

Glegg, S. M. N. (2019). Facilitating Interviews in Qualitative Research With Visual Tools: A Typology. Qualitative Health Research, 29(2), 301–310. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326303323_Facilitating_Interviews_in_Qualitative_Research_With_Visual_Tools_A_Typology

This article presents a typology to categorize and improve the efficacy of visual methods in aiding the qualitative interview process. Specifically, this typology is based on other published papers and experiences and is divided into several categories: Effect Change, Enable Communication, Facilitate the Relationship, Represent the Data, and Enhance Data Quality & Validity. Usage and ethical considerations/challenges with each of these facets are discussed. This article would be useful to anyone who is interested in qualitative interviews, utilizing different methods in interviews or is interested in applications of visual research methods in qualitative research. (JD)

Guest, G., Namey, E., Taylor, J., Eley, N., & McKenna, K. (2017). Comparing focus groups and individual interviews: findings from a randomized study. International Journal of Social Research Methodology20(6), 693–708. https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2017.1281601

This article compares and contrasts the benefits of using focus groups or using individual interviews. The research participants consisted of 350 African-American men living in North Carolina. Participants were randomly put in a focus group or an individual interview and asked the same questions. The researchers then analyzed the answers to the questions with regards to how unique and personalized the answers were. The findings showed that more personal and sensitive information was disclosed in a focus group rather than in an individual interview (MS).

Jung, H., & Ro, E. (2019). Validating common experiences through focus group interaction. Journal of Pragmatics143, 169–184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2019.02.019

Jung and Ro discuss focus groups as an underused method. In the paper, they provide a demonstration of how focus groups open up opportunities for participants to validate their shared experiences. They provide data from focus groups conducted with Korean K-12 English teachers and from a focus group conducted with international students at a university in the US (MS).

Riley, M., & Harvey, D. (2007a). Oral histories, farm practice and uncovering meaning in the countryside.Social & Cultural Geography, 8(3), 391–415. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/12825635.pdf

This paper focuses on oral techniques as the authors research and understand geographies and processes of agricultural and landscape change as well as farming cultures in the United Kingdom. Using the idea that “oral history” is a verbal recollection, the authors look at the changing land through the eyes of the farmers in that area. They use two case studies in their research and do oral interviews across many farms in their designated areas in the UK. They call for more work directly with farmers and less so strictly looking at the data as they uncover incredible stories of how the land has changed. This research is useful in helping to look at how farm land has changed over time from the perspective of the farmers themselves. KSBB 

Riley, M., & Harvey, D. (2007b). Talking geography: On oral history and the practice of geography. Social & Cultural Geography, 8(3), 345–351. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/12825594.pdf

In this article, the authors focus on oral histories in their study of geography. They discuss how until recently, the use of this method was really sparse. However, oral histories are incredibly important in research methods and especially in geography. It is a way to reach out to those who have not as strong voices or who have been hidden from history before. Place memory and place identity are key in understanding geographies and these can be found in oral histories. The authors call for more geographers to use this technique in their research so that it finds itself in the forefront of geography instead of as a rarity. This article and research is useful in showing how important oral histories are in geography. KSBB 

Rinnan, E., André, B., Drageset, J., Garåsen, H., Espnes, G. A. & Haugan, G. (2018). Joy of life in nursing homes: A qualitative study of what constitutes the essence of Joy of life in elderly individuals living in Norwegian nursing homes. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 32(4), 1468-1476. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/scs.12598

Rinnan et al.’s article is about their research project investigating what constitutes joy of life in the elderly in Norwegian nursing homes. The technique used for this study was semi-structured individual interviews with 29 people living in nursing homes. In Norway, there is a certification scheme called ‘Joy of Life Nursing Home’ based on Norwegian strategies for healthcare services; the researchers sought to understand what dimensions constitute joy of life for elderly individuals. (D.E.)

Rossetto, K. R. (2014). Qualitative research interviews: Assessing the therapeutic value and challenges. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 31(4), 482–489. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273594017_Qualitative_research_interviews_Assessing_the_therapeutic_value_and_challenges

This article examines whether (and argues in favor of) qualitative research interviews can have therapeutic value for the participants. Through engaging with interview participants and previously published works, the author builds a case with implications for all social research in terms of the value of their works on a level other than purely-information based; relational interviews and the challenges therein are also discussed. This article would be useful to anyone who is interested in the uses of interviews, different methodologies within interviews, or who is interested in critical engagements with the interview process/research methods. (JD)

Warren, C. A. B., Williams, K. N. (2008). Interviewing Elderly Residents in Assisted Living. Qualitative Sociology, 31(4), 407-424. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11133-008-9116-y

In their article, Warren and Williams discuss the importance of contextual understanding in the interpretation and analysis of qualitative interviews. The research was conducted in four assisted living facilities in the Midwest through interviews with both residents and staff, to determine how experiences in assisted living are different from other residential settings and whether assisted living successfully maintains autonomy. (D.E.)

Eileen, M., Peter, G., Bernadette, J., Lindsay, M., & Christine, B. (2017). Crossing professional cultures: A qualitative study of nurses working in a medical school. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 53(6), 633–646. https://doi.org/10.1080/10376178.2017.1416304

This sturdy examines nurses expertness through qualitative descriptive informed by auto-ethnography. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of nurses who work in a New Zealand medical school. The nurses were interviewed in groups of 14 over a 12-month period in 2015. The data was inductively analyzed and the results were pressing: Nurses chose to work in a medical school for a variety of reasons. They sought to maintain their nursing identity but the nursing profession often did not recognize them as nurses. (RR)

Charo Rodríguez, Emmanuelle Bélanger, Peter Nugus, Miriam Boillat, Marion Dove, Yvonne Steinert & Leonora Lalla(2019) Community Preceptors’ Motivations and Views about Their Relationships with Medical Students During a Longitudinal Family Medicine Experience: A Qualitative Case Study, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 31:2, 119-128, DOI: 10.1080/10401334.2018.1489817

This study centers on the current evidence that emphasizes the various benefits of community-oriented programs, although little is still known about the nature of the relationships that students and family physicians develop in this educational setting. The aim was to identify family physicians’ motivations to enroll as preceptors in a longitudinal undergraduate family medicine (LFME) program and to explore the nature of the student–preceptor relationships built during the course, through focus groups. (RR)

Browne, J., Webb, K., & Bullock, A. (2018). Making the leap to medical education: a qualitative study of medical educators’ experiences. Medical Education, 52(2), 216–226. https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.13470

This study looks at senior medical educators’ carriers and in particular, the moment when they have to make a conscious transition into a new identity as a medical educator and their views on what helps and what hinders the process. This is a necessary move if individuals are to commit to acquiring and maintaining specialist expertise in medical education. In 2015 we conducted three focus groups with 15 senior medical educators. Through inductive analysis, they then identified 17 explanatory sub-themes common to all three focus groups. (RR)

Winstone, N., Huntington, C., Goldsack, L., Kyrou, E., & Millward, L. (2014). Eliciting rich dialogue through the use of activity-oriented interviews: Exploring self-identity in autistic young people. Childhood, 21(2), 190–206.https://doi.org/10.1177/0907568213491771

Winstone et al. conducted two studies within a school that accommodated a range of students with special education needs. This study one used standard interview techniques and study two used activity-oriented interviews that explored self-identity by discussing art that the students had produced in class. These interviews were then revisited using thematic analysis to see the similarities and differences in how the boys responded in each type of interview. This article might be useful for a research project working with a population whose voices often go unheard because it allows them to articulate themselves better. The article also offers activity-oriented techniques that give such groups opportunities to engage more fully as they share their views and experiences by facilitating dialogue and encouraging self-expression. B.F.