Qualitative interviewing: methodological challenges in Arab settings

Sana Hawamdeh, Veena Raigangar
Nurse Researcher 2014, 21 (3): 27-31

AIM: To explore some of the main methodological challenges faced by interviewers in Arab settings, particularly during interviews with psychiatric nurses.

BACKGROUND: Interviews are a tool used commonly in qualitative research. However, the cultural norms and practices of interviewees must be considered to ensure that an appropriate interviewing style is used, a good interviewee-interviewer relationship formed and consent for participation obtained sensitively.

DATA SOURCES: A study to explore the nature of psychiatric nurses' practices that used unstructured interviews.

REVIEW METHODS: This is a methodology paper that discusses a personal experience of addressing many challenges that are specific to qualitative interviewing in Arab settings, supported by literature on the topic.

DISCUSSION: Suggestions for improving the interview process to make it more culturally sensitive are provided and recommendations for future research are made.

CONCLUSION: Openness, flexibility and a reflexive approach by the researcher can help manage challenges in Arab settings.

IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH/PRACTICE: Researchers should allow themselves to understand the cultural elements of a population to adapt interviewing methods with the aim of generating high quality qualitative research.

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