Conducting qualitative research in the context of pre-existing peer and collegial relationships

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Researcher, 2014, 21 (5), pp. 28 - 33
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Aim: To highlight issues and challenges faced in recruitment and interviewing during a study that sought to explore the transition of nurses into academic life and the associated ethical implications. Background: This paper explores the challenges faced in conducting research where the potential participants are peers and workplace colleagues. There are advantages when conducting research with those among whom a pre-existing relationship is shared. However, difficulties can also arise. Review methods: A methodological review was undertaken. Key database searches included CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar using the keywords as search terms. Studies were included if they described in detail issues surrounding qualitative interviewing of peers and colleagues. Discussion: Management of the issues involved is discussed, with emphasis on boundaries, trust and rapport, the use of self-disclosure and maintaining confidentiality. Conclusion: Research involving peers and colleagues has received relatively little consideration in the literature. There are difficulties associated with interviewing participants with whom the researcher has a pre-existing and ongoing relationship in the same organisation. To ensure ethical conduct, strategies can be used to mitigate negative situations such as issues surrounding dual roles, practising reflexivity, trust and rapport, self-disclosure and confidentiality. Implications for research/practice: It is imperative that dual roles are declared and acknowledged. Researchers need to be mindful of the difficulties that may occur and prioritise participants' confidentiality and privacy. © 2014 RCN Publishing Ltd.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: