In your interviews, you won’t necessarily ask exactly the same questions of everyone you interview, but every interview will be about the stages in the patient life journey. This approach has the benefit of gathering stories in people’s own words, while ensuring that you gather information that can be compared and analysed against the same criteria. 

To get the most out of your interviews, work up the best interview guide you can, and be familiar with it

The stages of the patient life journey form the basis of your interview guide;

  • Prepare a number of optional prompting questions to encourage interviewees to discuss their experience of these stages. 
  • As you prepare your interview guide (and when you use it in interviews), remember that it’s better to ask fewer questions than more! The storyteller should do most of the talking – a rule of thumb is that they should talk about 80% of the time.[28]

    Your job is to listen, and encourage a comfortable narrative flow. 

  • Use open questions that encourage the storyteller to talk about what happened to them. Avoid questions that can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. 


[28] NHS Modernisation Agency (2003) Learning from patient and carer experience: A Guide to using Discovery Interviews to Improve Care (National Health Service: London)