Guidelines to Support Nurse-Researchers Reflect on Role Conflict in Qualitative Interviewing

Susan Jack*, §
School of Nursing, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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© Susan Jack; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Nursing, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; E-mail:
§ Susan Jack holds the Reproduction and Child Health New Investigator Personnel Award from the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research


The conduct of a qualitative research interview is a complex social interaction that has the potential to influence, or be influenced by, both the researcher and the study participant. When a researcher is identified as a professional nurse, the identification of this role has the potential to influence the researcher-participant interaction. To understand the effect of a nurse-researcher’s involvement in an in-depth interview and on the data collected, issues to address include: clearly identifying the paradigmatic approach in which the research design is situated, examining the study participants' past experiences with research and the researcher’s profession, establishing appropriate boundaries with participants, deciding how to introduce the role of nurse-researcher to the participant and deciding if, or when, it would be appropriate to intervene within the research context. As nurse-researchers, professional knowledge and experiences have the potential to affect relationship development with study participants and obfuscate the purpose of the research interview. It is the researcher’s responsibility to participate in the activity of reflexivity to understand the effect of the nurse-researcher’s involvement on the data and make decisions that protect the participant’s integrity

Keywords: Qualitative research, interviews, reflexivity, role conflict.