Telephone interviewing in healthcare research: a summary of the evidence

Nurse Res. 2005;12(3):32-41. doi: 10.7748/nr2005.


Increasing numbers of healthcare researchers in the UK are using telephone interviews in their research. In this paper, Elizabeth Smith summarises the context in which the method is used to target purposive samples of service users or patient, carers, clinicians and other staff, or key individuals in the field of inquiry. The aim is to gain detailed and specific data about perceptions, experiences and views of healthcare services. It is useful to identify the circumstances under which the advantages and disadvantages of telephone interviewing have been realised to contextualise concerns about the quality of the data compared to other methods and provide practical advice for researchers considering using the method.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods*
  • Nursing Methodology Research / methods*
  • Qualitative Research*