Did my wife talk about my laziness? Reflections on dyadic interview

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Background: drawing on a research project in which we used dyadic interviews in combination with individual interviews, we address methodological advantages and disadvantages in this combination. We focus on the different roles of the interviewer and ethical implications of specific orders of the dyadic and individual interviews.
Objective: we followed eighth couples (50-75 years old) in a prostate cancer program (prostatectomy) through a year. The author performed 24 interviews in the home of the couples: dyadic interviews 2-4 months post op (1- 5 hours) and individual interviews with spouse and patient 6-12 months post op (1 hour each). All interviews focused on everyday life and late side effects after prostatectomy. Dyadic interviews were selected to provide a space for reflection where the couple could reinforce and/or challenge each other’s accounts. During the shared story-telling the author observed the intra-couple dynamic and interactions such as: eye contact, touching the partner, interrupting of speech and silence. Individual interviews were selected to cover the individual perspective of the stories.
Method: discussion of the use of semi-structured, qualitative, dyadic interviews followed by individual interviews.
Results: The dyadic interviews created a common reflective space where the couples talked freely and challenged their partner’s perspectives. Some couples protected each other from pain, anxiety and discomfort by constructing mutual stories without these elements, but later they unfolded them in the individual stories. The role of the interviewer included being a: researcher, broker, nurse, guest, confidential listener, but also a potential double agent.
Conclusion: the combination of dyadic and individual interviews produced rich and valid data with mutual and individual stories that both supported and conflicted each other. Interviewers should prepare for conflicting situation and focus on potential ethical implications when choosing the order of the spouse and partner in interviews.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date5 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2021


  • disease, health science and nursing


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  • Samlivet med prostatakræft og senfølger

    Rud, K. (Co-researcher), Jacobsen, H. (Co-researcher), Evron, L. (Principle researcher), Wind, G. (Principle researcher) & Just, L. (Principle researcher)


    Project: Research

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