In this article, we provide the experiences of three novice public health researchers conducting studies with several vulnerable populations: women, people with disabilities, and children. We describe all phases of our interview studies including developing data collection guides, planning the interview in an appropriate setting, conducting the interviews, and bringing the interview to a close. Specific components of the interviews that are discussed include establishing rapport and minimizing the power imbalance inherent between interviewer and interviewee, including the added power imbalance that vulnerable populations experience. Issues of maintaining quality and rigor, as well as ethical considerations for working with our specific populations are also discussed.


Interviewing, Focus Groups, Qualitative, Vulnerable Populations, Public Health, Women, Disability, Children

Author Bio(s)

Caroline Wood is an Assistant Professor of Health Science at Towson University. The focus of her research is bullying prevention, and protective factors that can help children avoid or reduce their risk of victimization. She is also interested in children with special healthcare needs, mixed-methods research, health literacy, and injury prevention. Correspondence can be addressed directly to: 8000 York Rd, 101 Linthicum, Towson, MD 21252. Phone: 410-704-3865. Email: ciwood@towson.edu.

Nancy Daley-Moore is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Sciences at Truman State University. Her research area includes using qualitative inquiry to explore women's experiences with sexual health and reproductive rights. Correspondence can also be addressed directly to: 100 East Normal, Pershing Building 2115, Kirksville, MO 63501; Phone: 660.785.4455; Email: ndmoore@truman.edu.

Dr. Rachel Powell is a Senior Program Officer at the CDC Foundation. She also serves as a consultant and an adjunct professor. Her area of specialization is health communications, maternal and child health, media literacy, and childhood obesity. Correspondence can also be addressed directly to: 600 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 1000 Atlanta Georgia 30308; Telephone: 404-653-0790; Email: rpowell@cdcfoundation.org.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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