The proliferation of new video conferencing tools offers unique data generation opportunities for qualitative researchers. While in-person interviews were the mainstay of data generation in qualitative studies, video conferencing programs, such as Zoom Video Communications Inc. (Zoom), provide researchers with a cost-effective and convenient alternative to in-person interviews. The uses and advantages of face-to-face interviewing are well documented; however, utilizing video conferencing as a method of data generation has not been well examined. The purpose of this paper is to examine the specific attributes of Zoom that contribute to high quality and in-depth qualitative interviews when in person interviewing is not feasible. While video conferencing was developed to facilitate long-distance or international communication, enhance collaborations and reduce travel costs for business these same features can be extended to qualitative research interviews. Overall, participants reported that Zoom video conferencing was a positive experience. They identified strengths of this approach such as: (1) convenience and ease of use, (2) enhanced personal interface to discuss personal topics (e.g., parenting), (3) accessibility (i.e., phone, tablet, and computer), (4) time-saving with no travel requirements to participate in the research and therefore more time available for their family. Video conferencing software economically supports research aimed at large numbers of participants and diverse and geographically dispersed populations.


Video Conferencing, Virtual Interviewing, Online Interviewing, Data Generation, Qualitative Research Methodology, Zoom Video Communications

Author Bio(s)

Lisa M. Gray is a Counselling Psychology Ph.D. student at The University of Alberta, Canada. She is a Canadian Certified Counsellor and operates a small private practice offering online counselling services. Lisa is a qualitative researcher and her research interests include attachment theory, the parent-child relationship, parental guilt, telepsychology, and qualitative research methods. Her proposed Ph.D. research focuses on examining the impact parental guilt has on the parent-child relationship. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: lmg@ualberta.ca.

Dr. Gina Wong is a Registered Psychologist (Alberta) and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Disciplines in the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada. Gina specializes in reproductive mental health and publishes and presents nationally and internationally on related issues from feminist and cross-cultural perspectives. Her program of research focuses on family resiliency and involves qualitative investigations into parent-child relationships and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She directs a limited counselling practice working with mothers. Gina also serves as an expert witness in a maternal filicide cases in Canada.

Gwen Rempel is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Disciplines and Chair of Graduate Programs at Athabasca University, Canada. She conducts qualitative and mixed methods research with children, adolescents and young adults with congenital heart disease, and their parents and other family members. Gwen's clinical background is as a clinical nurse specialist in pediatric cardiology. She is a member scholar of the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: grempel@athabascau.ca.

Dr. Karen Cook is an Assistant Professor in Faculty of Health Disciplines at Athabasca University. Her research interests include young adults with complex and life limiting conditions, improving transition from pediatric to adult care, developing a public health approach to palliative care for young adults, and Indigenous ways of knowing. Karen’s research approach uses online and patient engagement strategies within qualitative and mixed methods. Her clinical career has focused on supporting children, young adults and their families manage complex chronic and palliative conditions as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Registered Clinical Counsellor. She is a member scholar of the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to kcook@athabascau.ca.


Thank you to the busy caregivers who participated in the video conferencing interviews. This research was made possible by academic awards received by Lisa M. Gray while completing her Master of Counselling degree through Athabasca University. Such awards included the AU Access to Research Tools Award, the Excellence in Research Scholarship and the AU Graduate Student Scholarship.

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