Using Joint Interviews to Add Analytic Value

Louisa Polak, Judith Maureen Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)
492 Downloads (Pure)


Joint interviewing has been frequently used in health research, and is the subject of a growing methodological literature. We review this literature, and build on it by drawing on a case study of how people make decisions about taking statins. This highlights two ways in which a dyadic approach to joint interviewing can add analytic value compared with individual interviewing. First, the analysis of interaction within joint interviews can help to explicate tacit knowledge and to illuminate the range of often hard-to-access resources that are drawn upon in making decisions. Second, joint interviews mitigate some of the weaknesses of interviewing as a method for studying practices; we offer a cautious defense of the often-tacit assumption that the “naturalness” of joint interviews strengthens their credibility as the basis for analytic inferences. We suggest that joint interviews are a particularly appropriate method for studying complex shared practices such as making health decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1638-1648
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


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