Primary Research – Unstructured Interview

Today I had the opportunity to speak to a member of staff at Sheffield Hallam’s wellness centre who specialises in offering therapy to students suffering with mental health issues. The interview was unstructured, I did however prepare some questions and topics of conversation before hand.

01 – Consent Form

Before we began it was important to ensure the participant understood what I was trying to do and felt comfortable with the procedures I had put in place. Once they had read through the participant information sheet they were given the opportunity to ask questions before signing the consent form.

Consent form.jpg
Consent form

02 – Transcript

This interview was recorded and I transcribed it later that evening. I did not make any notes during the interview as I wanted the interviewee to have my full attention and I didn’t want to miss opportunities to ask following questions. Transcribing is a lengthy process, for the sake of my blog I have edited the script to make it more readable and ensure that key points have been highlighted.


03 – Reflection

My chosen methodology was un-structured interview because I wanted it to feel relaxed and be an open conversation where I would be able to go with the flow. This method was more difficult that I initially anticipated. At times I  found myself feeling nervous and lost my train of thought resulting in me becoming confused and lost. In preparation for the interview I had written down areas of interest and phrases to prompt me but, listening back to audio recording there were some missed opportunities and at times I waffled, struggling to get my point across and repeating myself. In that scenario I felt under prepared so in future alongside noting general areas of interest I will prepare questions to ensure I cover everything and have a back up in case I begin to feel out of my depth.

Going into this interview I was not sure what to expect. I didn’t think I would find anything that I had not previously read about but, the interview was extremely beneficial. I feel as though I have extracted some really interesting avenues to explore further and it has opened my eyes up allowing me to envision new ideas and uncover insights I had previously been unable to extract from secondary sources. The key themes that emerged are; SAD is very treatable in comparison to other mental illnesses, the earlier someone seeks help the easier it is manage, there are lost of treatments and it’s a case of discovering what works for you. The themes are something that I will use to develop my ideas further throughout the experimentation stage.

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