Qualitative Research Primer: What is it and should I give it a try?

Pictured is a healthcare professional at a desk on the phone. In depth telephone interviews can be conducted at your convenience at a pre-scheduled time.
In-depth telephone interviews can be conducted at your convenience at a pre-scheduled time.

Members of our Healthcare Market Research Panel participate in different types of market research including online surveys, in-depth telephone interviews, or in-person focus groups. While some Panelists favor online surveys, equally as many enjoy the in-depth and personal nature of qualitative studies, the majority of which are conducted as telephone interviews ranging from twenty minutes to an hour. In-person interviews or focus groups are not quite as common, but for those who do participate in them, they tend to deliver highly rewarding experiences because of their communal nature and the sharing of knowledge and expertise that occurs.

For those who may not be that familiar with qualitative research, here are some of the benefits from the perspective of healthcare professionals:

  • Higher payments. Pre-scheduled, in-depth telephone interviews often offer high honoraria; in some cases this can be $400, or even more, for an hour interview.
  • Make a significant contribution to innovation in your field. Because you’re speaking with a researcher at length, you have the opportunity to share insights and experiences that simply cannot be captured in an online survey. The interaction between you and the researcher allows for nuance and specificity that only one-on-one communication can provide.
  • Be the first to learn about new drugs or treatments. Oftentimes, concepts or extraordinary innovations are presented in market research studies. Our Panelists tell us they appreciate hearing about new developments before they are announced. It can help them keep on top of their field and be alerted to new drugs and treatments.
  • Unique, fun, and interesting opportunities. Qualitative studies can also be interesting because different methodologies are sometimes used. Lexy Frazier, Reckner’s Director of Qualitative Research, described one study in which the participating physicians were given a laptop and had their computer use observed for a few weeks. The monitoring captured URLs visited and time spent on each page (words typed, screen captures, or personal information was not monitored).  “Afterwards, they got to keep the laptop,” Frazier said. “So that was certainly a nice incentive.”

One of Reckner’s Panelists, Dr. Claudio Sandoval, shared that he prefers qualitative studies so that others may benefit from his clinical expertise. “I have been caring for patients with blood and cancer disorders for over 26 years and have a wealth of information and a deep reservoir of knowledge. I enjoy talking to people and contributing to the science and art of medicine,” he said.

Pictured is Lexy Frazier, Reckner's Director of Qualitative Research.
Lexy Frazier, Reckner’s Director of Qualitative Research

From the perspective of the researchers, Frazier shared that these in-depth interviews allow companies to dig more deeply into a subject and get into the mindset of potential consumers. “Getting on the court of the customer” is how some researchers describe it.

Qualitative research is also used to understand the language that potential consumers use to describe certain symptoms or health issues. By talking directly with potential users of a product, one can appreciate the nuances of word and phrasing choices. For example, a company might describe their product as alleviating “irritation” but upon talking with potential consumers who describe the same symptom, they might more specifically refer to it as “sensitivity” or “burning” or “pressure,” for example. Hearing the nuance of the language used by potential consumers and prescribers can help a company get the right product to the right people.

Wondering what kind of opportunities there are for telephone interviews?

At any given time, Reckner could have up to 60 qualitative studies underway. In 2018 alone, Reckner paid nearly $7,000,000 in honoraria to almost 18,000 unique participants for both qualitative and quantitative research studies.

Reckner paid $6,961,882 in honoraria in 2018.

“There’s certainly plenty of room for new Panelists to get involved. We encourage our current Panelists to spread the word to their networks,” Frazier said. “We are really fortunate to have such a highly regarded and trusted Panel which has grown steadily over the past 28 years. Because of its longstanding and consistent record of excellence, our clients have come to rely on the Reckner Panel for their healthcare market research needs. And, as always, we are grateful for the Panel’s commitment and involvement,” concluded Frazier.

We greatly appreciate referrals. Please send the name and email address or phone number of potential Panel members to sample@reckner.com. Many thanks.

51 thoughts on “Qualitative Research Primer: What is it and should I give it a try?

      1. Barbara M Galko

        Please enroll me in panelist studies and qualitative research. I have over 30 years experience in Pulmonary disease, critical cares medicine, sleep disorders, drug development. Experienced in academic centers, community hospital settings, and outpatient clinical environment.

  1. nicholas powers


    I am interested in qualitative research. How can I get on board?


    Dr. Nicholas Powers

  2. Daniel Katz

    I am interested in qualitative studies and I already do participate in Reckner interviews.

  3. Shonie Harris

    Hi, & thanks for sharing this great opportunity! I’m interested in Qualitative Research. Let me know how to get started. I will also get referrals for membership.

    1. I see that you registered to be a member of the Healthcare Panel, which is the first step. I have alerted our qualitative team that you are interested and they will flag you for any upcoming studies which require your expertise. Thanks for joining the trusted Reckner Healthcare panel.

    1. Excellent. I see that you registered for the Panel sometime in the past few months. I’ll let the recruitment team know you are very interested. Thanks.

    1. Teresa Richardson Nicholson

      I love receiving invitations to participate. The information that I have received has been benifical and I enjoy sharing the information that I have in order to help others

      1. MaryAnn kenney

        Continue sending invitations & consider me for all research. I enjoy participating. Thank you!
        MaryAnn Kenney

  4. Wayne Tamberelli

    I am very interested and have done a few interviews. I really enjoy the quality of the questions and the way these interviews allow me to express opinions that cannot be made as clear in online studies. My only problem is my work schedule is usually booked for weeks out and I rarely have office time for the interviews. Anything that begins at or after 5 works best for me.

    1. Jennifer Dvorak

      I am very interested in participating in all types research. Thank you for your consideration

  5. Cherree Beachtel

    I am very interested in participating. Please let me know how I can move forward.

  6. Deborah Rosin , MD

    I am interested in qualitative research studies
    I am an ENT /Otolaryngologist

  7. William F von Almen II , MD

    Please be sure I am on you qualitative study list as well. Thanks

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