Emmanuel Ekpor Profile Emmanuel Ekpor

Online interviews for qualitative health research in africa: a scoping review

  • Authors Details :  
  • Samuel Akyirem,  
  • Emmanuel Ekpor,  
  • Gloria Ama Aidoo-frimpong,  
  • Yakubu Salifu,  
  • Laron E Nelson

Journal title : International Health

Publisher : Oxford University Press (OUP)

Online ISSN : 1876-3405

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Online interviews can be powerful tools in global health research. In this article, we review the literature on the use of and challenges associated with online interviews in health research in Africa and make recommendations for future online qualitative studies. The scoping review methodology was used. We searched on Medline and Embase in March 2022 for qualitative articles that used internet-based interviews as a data collection method. Following full-text reviews, we included nine articles. We found that online interviews were typically conducted via Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messaging and E-mail chats. Online interviews were used in Africa because of the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and the need to sample participants across multiple countries or communities. Recruitment for online interviews occurred online, interviews were characterised by inaudible sounds, the inability to use video options and the challenges of including people with low income and education. We recommend that researchers critically evaluate the feasibility of online interviews within a particular African locality before fully implementing this data collection approach. Researchers may also collaborate with community-based organisations to help recruit a more socioeconomically diverse sample because of the potential of excluding participants with limited internet access.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihad010

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