Quote from BeachNurse
Just curious, but why are you doing interviews? I would think that a survey or questionnaire-type of tool would be far easier than interviewing.
I don't have the source at hand, but I think the answer is that loosely structured interviews are the way to go when you know the questions, but not the answers. In my case, I wish to gain:
1) Information about the kind of experiences that patients have that might be described as mystical (a phenomenological description)
2) An undertanding of what it feels like, as a nurse, to hear and respond to patients sharing these experiences.
There are ( a few) formal tools to evaluate mystical experience, but I think they are too structured for the kind of thing I'm after, and they incorporate a certain religious slant, which may or may not be applicable. They really aren't geared to a hospitalized patient population.
I'm planning to interview in the summer, and I'm trying to get things set up now; that's why I have the digital vs cassette question.