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A nurse researcher's guide to reflexive interviewing.

Lear, Holly; Eboh, Winifred; Diack, Lesley


Holly Lear

Winifred Eboh

Lesley Diack


Background: In a wider doctoral study related to unfavourable experiences of nursing students studying abroad, the researcher undertook a reflexive interview to reduce the potential for bias. Aim: To discuss a method for conducting reflexive interviews and recommend their use to nurse researchers. Discussion: A reflexive interview was undertaken to reduce bias and pilot an original interview instrument. A senior researcher interviewed the researcher using original questions that would be used to interview participants in the wider doctoral study. The questions required validation and therefore the reflexive interview acted as a pilot. Conclusion: This process acted as a learning opportunity for the researcher, improving interview skills such as keeping in mind the respondent's feelings, paying attention to the ratio of eye-contact to note-taking and consciously slowing the speed of asking questions. Biases were revealed through the listening guide, a reflexive method of analysis underpinned by experiential education. These included the beliefs that sending institutions insufficiently prepare nursing students to study abroad, such trips may not benefit the host locations and students study abroad merely to have an adventure. Implications for practice: The reflexive interview exposed implicit biases and enabled the researcher to pilot an original interview instrument. The recommendation for this reflexive method is justified in that it enables introspection, reduces bias and encourages social transformation.


LEAR, H., EBOH, W. and DIACK, L. 2018. A nurse researcher's guide to reflexive interviewing. Nurse researcher [online], 25(4), pages 35-42. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 8, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 16, 2018
Publication Date Mar 16, 2018
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jun 20, 2019
Journal Nurse researcher
Print ISSN 1351-5578
Electronic ISSN 2047-8992
Publisher RCN Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 4
Pages 35-42
Keywords Experiential education; Listening guide; Nursing research; Qualitative research; Reflexive interview; Reflexivity; Research methods
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