Interview case studies with Japanese heart transplant recipients: the effectiveness of using a semi-structured interview technique and further considerations
Ikuko Tomomatsu (Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London)
Paper short abstract:
I will draw on my experience of interviewing Japanese heart transplant recipients, and consider ways in which the semi-structured interview using an e-mail interview to enhance the quality of information gathering is developed with these cases.
Paper long abstract:
Heart transplantation has been discussed for about forty years in Japan, as a matter of social consensus, a legal issue, and a matter of organ donation. By contrast, the actual experiences of heart transplant recipients have been neglected in the discussion. Understanding the experiences of Japanese heart transplant patients is important for planning the future of the procedure. In this project I have conducted interviews with 8 Japanese heart transplant recipients, and will be conducting interviews with another 12, using a semi-structured technique. The advantage of a semi-structured interview is that interviewer can explore in depth with interviewees and ask questions about complex matters. These interviews give the participant an opportunity to describe their experiences of the transplant process and to voice their opinions. Because it is the first time these informants have been interviewed by a social science researcher, I have found that they are unsure as to what extent they should describe their experiences and opinions to me. Therefore, establishing trust is important. I will explore the way in which I have tried to establish trust, and how to further develop the semi-structured technique. In addition, I suggest a way in which an e-mail interview can be combined with the semi-structured interview to enhance the quality of the information gathered.