Skype: Video-Conference Interviews: Ethical and Methodological Concerns in the Context of Health Research
Qualitative research heavily relies on interviews, which are commonly recorded in video and/or audio streams. This case study explores the use of Skype as a tool for interviewing. I draw on my research into the lived experience of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a complex and contested condition, is difficult to diagnose, typically varies in its symptoms, and is extremely unpredictable in nature. As research participants come from all over the world and obviously suffer with their health, I had always planned on carrying out Skype interviews. In this case study, I not only outline the benefits of using Skype but also discuss practical, ethical, and methodological pitfalls and concerns. In conclusion, Skype can be a very helpful tool, but requires careful planning and a strong reflexive position on the part of the researcher.