• family nursing;
  • individualised care;
  • interview strategies;
  • nursing interventions;
  • qualitative interviews

Learning to listen: serendipitous outcomes of a research training experience

Experience gained in a qualitative research-training project led a group of clinical nurse specialists to discover the value of using research interview strategies in their clinical work. Clinical interviews, designed to garner data sufficient to decide on interventions, narrow the focus of the interviewer to information deemed relevant to that end. Research interview strategies involve a temporary suspension of the search for intervention, encourage a full description of the respondent’s story and experience, and emphasise really listening to that story. In this case it is the respondent who decides what the story is and what information is relevant. This leads the interviewer to a fuller understanding of the context and perceptions of the respondent. The understanding and knowledge thus obtained comprise a better foundation for devising interventions which are individualised and specific to the individual and family.