Table 1

Recommendations and considerations for qualitative researchers undertaking interviews with palliative and end-of-life patients in the home

  • ▸ Carefully consider the mechanics of the consent process and be careful not to apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach across your portfolio of studies

  • ▸ Ensure a process is in place to obtain informed consent from any companions who may unexpectedly join in the interviews, with a clear idea on how this situation will be handled should it occur. Clearly set out the consent process for companions in the study protocol and have all processes and documentation ready, with the appropriate approvals in place

Boundaries and researcher position
  • ▸ Ensure researchers are clear from the start of the study as to what their position is, how they present themselves and the boundaries they will put in place should participants request information and support

  • ▸ Carefully consider and reflect on the extent to which bonds are made between them and their participants with a contingency plan in place in advance of data collection to deal with any instances of participants making inappropriate contact outside of the research study

  • ▸ Accept, and be reflexive on, the fact that a truly neutral/emotion free stance may neither be achievable nor appropriate. Ensure adequate support is available for both researcher and participants throughout the duration of the study

Researcher training and safety
  • ▸ Ensure researchers are adequately trained to undertake the qualitative interviews in the first place, on how to deal with difficult situations and on any safety concern relevant to the study.

  • ▸ Ensure a debriefing process is in place for researchers and, particularly for less experienced researchers, a senior member of the team reviews initial interviews to provide guidance and training