In-depth interviews provide insight into day-to-day issues faced by individual patients, family members and health care providers regarding a particular crisis.
They allow us to understand their personal struggles, fears, problems, perspectives and experiences. In-depth interviews also are a powerful way of sensitizing us to subtle issues regarding the crisis in ways that literature reviews or surveys may not. Every individual's story is unique, and will bring to the surface things that may not have been mentioned by others.
We have found it is helpful to conduct at least a few in-depth interviews prior to holding nominal group discussions. This gives us a preliminary grasp of some of the issues people encounter related to that health crisis. This fore-knowledge helps us prepare for the larger nominal group discussions.
The needs identified from the in-depth interviews are combined with those derived from other needs assessment methods, to design the survey that measures the importance and satisfaction of those needs among a larger population.