Comparison of Telephone and In-Person Interviews for Data Collection in Qualitative Human Research
In qualitative research, interviews are utilized in data collection, especially in the Medical field. This literature review analyzes the advantages and disadvantages for in-person and telephone methods. The PubMed and PubMedCentral® databases were searched and yielded five relevant articles in the locale of medicine for review. Telephone interviews are found to be shorter, cost less, are reported to display less interviewer bias, and are seen to report less information while in-person interviews require more training, are conducive to physical tests, and are harder to schedule. In-person and telephone interviews are both accurate within acceptable error for qualitative research studies. In cases where a majority of the sample may not have access to telephones, the extra cost of the in-person interview is justified to develop rapport and increased accuracy to add validity to the study. Telephone interviews may be the preferred method unless the in-person interview provides benefits to the research that outweigh the additional costs. This study was a sub-study for a larger project with an overall goal of understanding the dynamics of health communication in grandfamilies and how these dynamics may differ by race.