Comparing Telephone and Face-to-Face Qualitative Interviewing: A Research Note

Judith E. Sturges, Kathleen J. Hanrahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

945 Scopus citations


This research note reports the results of a comparison of face-to-face interviewing with telephone interviewing in a qualitative study. The study was designed to learn visitors’ and correctional officers’ perceptions of visiting county jail inmates. The original study design called for all face-to-face interviews, but the contingencies of fieldwork required an adaptation and half of the interviews were conducted by phone. Prior literature suggested that the interview modes might yield different results. However, comparison of the interview transcripts revealed no significant differences in the interviews. With some qualifications, we conclude that telephone interviews can be used productively in qualitative research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages12
JournalQualitative Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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