A semi-structured interview schedule will be utilised to facilitate in-depth exploration of whether non-English speaking Pakistani women want parent education. The interview schedule will be designed specially for this study as no previous available research reports in this area.
The interview is kind of conversation: a conversation with a purpose. It is both flexible and adaptable way of finding things out. The human use of language is most fascinating both as behaviour in its own right, for the ritually unique window that it opens on what lies behind our actions (Robson, 2000). The main reason interviews shall be carried out as opposed to handing out questionnaires is firstly, the data collected through is approach becomes qualitative rather than quantitative, secondly it would be very time consuming to translate the questionnaires into different languages and then transcribing the data, and thirdly some women are illiterate in their own language and would not be able to fill out an questionnaire but could participate in an interview allowing a more richer and complex data to be collected. When a questionnaire is mailed for example, anyone in the household could have supplied the answers therefore affecting the validity and reliability of the date collected.
Interviews offer the possibility of modifying ones line of enquiry, following up interesting responses and investigating underlying motives in a way that postal and self administered questionnaires can not (Robson, 1993) therefore enhancing reliability of the data. Phenomenologists often favour the intimacy that in-depth interviewing can create in an attempt little known phenomena.
The researcher purely for the fact that the interviews will be in Mirpuri language shall carry out the interviews. This would promote a unique closeness and a comfortable, safe, relaxed environment in which the women will feel safe to reveal their inner most feelings, anxieties and experiences, this can be enhanced by the provision of privacy and confidentiality (Robson, 2000). It would take time and would be costly to train another researcher to carry out the interviews; it would have an influence on the reliability of the results as well as the validity. The researcher will also have a moral responsibility to ensure that those acting on their behalf have both the skill and knowledge to perform adequately, this will be taken into consideration when the data is analysed. Ethically, this raises the question of the extent to which researchers have personal knowledge of what their employees are doing on their behalf, so to avoid potential problems the interviews shall be carried out by one researcher (I)
Secondly, as a Pakistani midwife, the relationship between the women and myself would be a unique one, with the same background and mutual understanding, the women would fell relaxed and this will facilitate the collection of the data. Being with woman highlights the midwifes close relationship with the woman and emphasises the midwifes role as an advocate. Communication contributes towards creating an environment, which is imperative, if the conversation is to flow naturally and participants are to remain relaxed, unreserved and inhibited. Empathy, intimacy and a oneness with the woman are implicit within this relationship. Trust is also crucial to the relationship. These are all essential characteristics of the phenomenological relationship.
The women will be told about the research study and what it will entail during their booking interview at home, so that they are well informed to make a choice. They will be given a verbal explanation about the interview process.
The interviews obviously will vary in length. Blaxter et al (1996) argues that anything under half an hour is unlikely to be valuable; anything that goes much over an hour may be making unreasonable demands on busy interviewees and could have an effect on reducing the number of persons willing to participate, so it has been decided an hour should be sufficient to extract the information needed. Duration of the interview is important because they are demanding and very time consuming but on the other hand, they provide the researcher with quality rich data.
It is very important to inform the woman about the length of the interview so that she can make arrangements. Before the interview the researcher will contact the woman via the telephone to confirm arrangements incase she has made other plans. The interviews will be conducted in the woman own home, preferably with fewer distractions. She would be more open in her own environment as opposed to a busy hospital environment. Great care will be taken to ensure that privacy is maintained and disruptions minimised. The researcher has also taken into considerations the external variables such as telephone ringing, unexpected guests and childcare, these will be minimised as and when it becomes a problem.
Interviews also allow some safe guards to be built into the interview situation. By interviewing at home, face to face, it can clarify misunderstood questions and the researcher can observe the level of interaction and understanding and co-operation. In addition, the researcher has a strict control over the order of questions.
Consent will not only be obtained from the women with respect to a home interview but also to tape record the conversation rather than taking notes. Smith (1992) argues that informed consent is considered one of the means by which womans rights are protected. The women will also be assured that the interviews will be entirely confidential apart from two researchers and the results will be published anonymously. Informed consent will also include the provision for the study subject to withdraw at any time during the interview and to feel free to ask for further explanations when the need arises.
By tape recording, the interview means that the researcher will only concentrate on the process of the interview. The researcher can focus the attention on the interviewee, and engage in an appropriate eye contact and non-verbal communication. However, tape recording holds a few disadvantages in that it can make the respondents anxious and less likely to reveal confidential information but through thorough explanation and assurance, this can resolve the problem. The researcher has also taken into consideration of the very fact that, tapes also take a long time to transcribe and analyse (Burnard, 1991). Not only will this be a problem but transcribing data from one language into another can prove to be very demanding and frustrating, it can not only influence the reliability but the validity aswell. For this reason, a second researcher will be used to analyse the data. This would in turn avoid bias and enhance the reliability, the analysed data will be taken back to the women to confirm the statements made.
Nevertheless, note keeping can also is very demanding. Baxter (1996) supports in saying that concentrating on asking questions, listening to the responses and taking notes is a complex process, so therefore, the interviews will be tape recorded as advised by Creswell (1994). But on the other hand, some interviewees may refuse the permission to be tape recorded, so the researcher will accommodate their preferences by taking notes if this problem arises.
It has been mentioned that the interviews will be semi-structured rather than structured. Polit & Hunglar (1995, P271) argue that semi-structured method offers the researcher flexibility in gathering information from the participants. The researcher proceeds with no preconceived view of the content of flow of information to be gathered, in turn he/she would turn to semi-structured approach. Unstructured interviews are conversational and typically are conducted in naturalistic settings. The aim is to elucidate the participants perceptions of the world without imposing any of the researchers view, therefore avoiding bias and achieving greater reliabilty. The idea is to allow the non-English speaking Pakistani women to express their views, concerns or opinions as freely as possible and this can be done through the semi-structured approach, thus emphasising the focus of qualitative research (Polit & Hunglar, 1999).