A briefing on a sensitive subject In this short case study the researchers discuss the interviewer..

A briefing on a sensitive subject

In this short case study the researchers discuss the
interviewer briefing session for a project on the sensitive subject of child
abuse and neglect. In Case study 9.5 they discuss designing and pilot testing
the questionnaire for the same project.

Why this case study is worth reading

This case study is worth reading for two reasons: it sets
out why an interviewer briefing was necessary; and it describes how the
briefing was done.

The key words are: sensitive subject, personal experience,
helpline information, examination of the questionnaire, no

A briefing on a sensitive subject

In this short case study the researchers discuss the
interviewer briefing session for a project on the sensitive subject of child
abuse and neglect. In Case study 9.5 they discuss designing and pilot testing
the questionnaire for the same project.

Why this case study is worth reading

This case study is worth reading for two reasons: it sets
out why an interviewer briefing was necessary; and it describes how the
briefing was done.

The key words are: sensitive subject, personal experience,
helpline information, examination of the questionnaire, no compulsion,
comfortable.

Interviewer briefing

Though the research agencys interviewers are used to
conducting surveys on health, crime and other sensitive subjects, the issue of
child abuse is possibly the most sensitive subject of all. This sensitivity
relates not only to the interviewerrespondent relationship, but potentially to
the interviewers themselves. We were aware from the beginning that, with
several hundred interviewers working on the survey, it was likely that the
subject matter would raise difficult personal issues for some.

The briefings therefore included a session introducing the
subject of child abuse, placing it in its historical and contemporary context.
We were deliberately explicit in briefings about the fact that it was likely
that, in the room of 2030 people, one or more may have personal experience of
abuse. The client, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Children (NSPCC), had supplied us with helpline information to be left with
respondents but asked us to make it clear to interviewers that this service was
also available to them if required.

It is standard practice to include an examination of the
questionnaire at interviewer briefings. In this case we took particular care to
make sure that it was thoroughly examined, as we wanted all interviewers to be
absolutely clear about the nature of the questions, in both the
interviewer-completed sections and the self-keyed sections. At the end, we
assured interviewers that there was no compulsion to work on this project if
they did not feel comfortable with the questions.

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