Comparing Telephone and Face-to-Face Qualitative Interviewing: a Research Note
AbstractThis research note reports the results of a comparison of face-to-face interviewing with telephone interviewing in a qualitative study. The study was designed to learn visitors’ and correctional officers’ perceptions of visiting county jail inmates. The original study design called for all face-to-face interviews, but the contingencies of fieldwork required an adaptation and half of the interviews were conducted by phone. Prior literature suggested that the interview modes might yield different results. However, comparison of the interview transcripts revealed no significant differences in the interviews. With some qualifications, we conclude that telephone interviews can be used productively in qualitative research.