Participants’ Experiences of the Qualitative Interview: Considering the Importance of Research Paradigms

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We used a multiple-case study to investigate participants’ experiences in interviews from six qualitative studies that differed in interview orientations, designs, methods, participants, and topics. Roulston’s (2010a, 2010b) interview orientation heuristic guided our ‘paradigm-driven’ analysis of participants’ experiences. We found no differences in participants’ articulation of benefits and risks by interview orientation. Participants’ experiences differed based on the opportunity to reflect on their interview experiences, the sensitivity of the topic explored, and the number of interviews conducted. We discuss the implications of our findings for ‘paradigm-driven’ qualitative research and suggest ethical questions qualitative interview researchers can ask to maximize the benefits of their interviews.

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Qualitative Research, v. 15, issue 3, p. 351-372