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Embracing participation in mental health research: conducting authentic interviews

Paul Morrison (School of Health Professions, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia)
Norman Jay Stomski (School of Health Professions, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 2 February 2015




Successful interviews are underpinned by several important processes that researchers must take account of. These include: understanding the meaning of participation in research, acquiring informed consent, establishing rapport, managing boundaries between research and helping, and embracing consumer participation in research. These processes have been addressed individually in articles, but have not been collectively appraised yet they are all critical determinants of successful interviewing. The purpose of this paper is to bridge the gap in the literature by synthesizing the available information that shapes the practice of interviewing people with mental health problems in a research project.


This paper involves a review of the literature.


Numerous interactional processes need to be addressed to facilitate the full engagement of both researchers and informants in research interviews. Engaging authentically in research interviews is challenging at many levels, and strategies are presented that researchers and informants can use to manage the difficulties that they may encounter.


This paper draws on the notion of participation to highlight how certain aspects of interactions between researchers and informants with mental health problems contribute to authentic narratives.



Morrison, P. and Stomski, N.J. (2015), "Embracing participation in mental health research: conducting authentic interviews", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 47-60.



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