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Guidelines for interpretive interview fidelity in mixed methods research within the context of a randomized controlled trial

Amanda L Garrett, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Interviews fascinate and capture individuals’ attention. Researchers value the data they glean from interviews, while participants enjoy being asked to share their voices and opinions. Some of the most complex, stringent research designs are now being revised to include interviews, such as randomized controlled trials. But, how do we know that the interviews that are conducted are valid? We need to know more about how interviews are developed and delivered within the context of intervention research. Therefore, the aim of this methodological dissertation is to create a set of recommendations for interpretive interviews in a mixed methods randomized controlled trial. This dissertation research is part of a larger NIH-funded longitudinal research project on exercise adherence. Through qualitative analysis, dialectical pluralism of research paradigms, and literature on treatment fidelity and validity, the interview fidelity process emerged. Findings indicated five interview fidelity ideals: (1) research contributions, (2) interviewer-participant association, (3) participant accommodation, (4) process and procedures, and (5) data management dimensions. Implications for various research audiences are discussed. Outcomes will assist researchers in processing interviews to encourage and increase validity within the context of intervention trial mixed methods studies and the broader base of all mixed methods studies utilizing interviews.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Health sciences

Recommended Citation

Garrett, Amanda L, "Guidelines for interpretive interview fidelity in mixed methods research within the context of a randomized controlled trial" (2016). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10143331.