Research skills (Munhall 2012). With semi structured

Research Setting

The study will consist of participants from the Regional Fertility
Centre (RFC) in Belfast.  The RFC is
regulated by the HFEA in agreement to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology
Act. This Centre has been established for more
than 30 years.

Data Collection

To fulfil the qualitative research study the researcher will intend to
collect data in a way that gives the participant support and comfort for
exploring their personal experiences (Katz 2012).   The
researcher will collect the participant’s information through in-depth semi
structured interviews.  In-depth,
semi-structured interviews are verbal interchanges where one person, the
interviewer, attempts to elicit information from another person by asking
questions (Newell and
Burnard 2011).  This collection
method also allows for the ability to measure attitudes, probe feelings, pose
follow up questions and gather internal meanings through the use and ability of
communication skills (Munhall

    With semi structured
interviews the phenomenon studied must be thought through (Speziale et al. 2011).  In this case the researcher has decided to
use open ended questions allowing the participants to answer freely and
elaborate allowing for answers to be in detail (Speziale et al. 2011).   Open ended questions are unstructured
questions that begin with a how, what, when, where, and why and the respondent answers in their own words (Gerrish
and Lacey 2010).  Open ended
questions are advantageous in exploratory research where statistical validity is not a prime objective (Parahoo
2014; Grove et al. 2012).  It also
reveals rich details with unanticipated findings and permits adequate answers
to complex issues (Grove
et al. 2012).

   The researcher will use 12
open-ended questions which are designed and developed by the researcher for the
solitary purpose of the study (see appendix interview questions).  Each question will be allocated approximately
10 minutes for answering, totalling 120 minutes – 2 hours for each interview.  This approximates a guide for the interview
session but the participants’ answers will guide the time frame of the
interview (Speziale et al.
2011). An interview schedule (See appendix), will devise a plan to
concentrate the interviewer on the purposed questions and thus will shift the
focus if the answers are not in line with the objectives of the research (Speziale et al. 2011).  Researchers have to be vigilant when
it comes to pursuing the interviewee to make sure they are not considered to
impact the answers, hence the important of sticking to the interview schedule
(Jolleson 2013).  A computer mic will be
used to audio record the interviews with authorisation from the respondents in
order to create a precise interpretation of the sessions (Jolleson 2013).   The recording will help the researcher to concentrate, listen and respond
better rather than note taking which can increase
risk of the researcher being more subjective when writing (Seidman 2013).  Seidman (2013) also identifies that
qualitative research recordings give a more holistic picture and during the analysis
process the researcher will be able to go back over material in more detail. The participants will also have the right to
withdraw from the interview sessions/study and dismiss the interview at any
given time.  To ensure the participants
feel comfortable and to reinforce an anonymous study the interviewees will be
interviewed in a private room within a local hotel.  This will take patients away from the
clinical environment and allow for a more accurate answer. The cost of this
will be considered within the financial costs section of this proposal. Navigating interviews in a comfortable
environment encourages a sense of safety also preserves discretion and
confidentiality (Newell
and Burnard 2011). Concurringly Parahoo (2014) illuminates that when data is
collected in a natural environment, researchers often take into consideration
other influences such as cultural that can impact experiences. A reflection
period will be scheduled for the interviewer. This
will form mental processing for the interviewer like a form of thinking that
will fulfil rigour within the questioning period (Commer 2016).



Fowler (2013) specifies that researchers use
samples rather than populations for reasons of efficiency and cost
effectiveness. It would be impossible, and generally impractical, to conduct a
study on the entire population (Fowler 2013). Therefore, the researcher has
employed sampling strategies that have been designed to select a subset of the
population to represent that entire population (Fowler 2013; Newell and Burnard
2011).  There are many types of sampling
strategies such as probability sampling and non-probability sampling (Parahoo
2014; Fowler 2013; Newell and Burnard 2011). Non-probability sampling is the
most popular method for qualitative research and is also popular for a
predefined group.  The researcher will
use purposive sampling.  The main goal of
this is to focus on particular characteristics of a population that are of
interest, which will best enable the researcher to answer the studies question (Newell
and Burnard 2011).  In addition Parahoo
(2014) suggests that qualitative researchers should use a small selective samples,
because of the in depth semi-structured interviews associated, creating a
wealth of data from the small numbers. The researcher intends to acquire a
purposive sample that will have some exclusion and inclusion criteria
requirements (see below). Inclusion criteria has a relationship with the
research and benefits the results, however exclusion criteria has no
correlation with the study or with the findings. 


of (N=12) participants and maximum of (N=16)

of failed and successful treatment


who have children

active in treatment


After the literature review the researcher
has carefully considered that these studies reached data saturation at (N=14)
participants therefore the researcher will propose (N=12) participants for the
sample size to achieve a rich perspective of the fertility patients experience.
Holloway and Wheeler (2013) highlight that saturation of data is when
researchers reach a point in their analysis of data when sampling more data
will not lead to any more information. The suggested sample size will allow the
ethical committee to grant (N=12) participants allowing for participants to
withdraw from the study leaving adequate participants for prosperous results
(Holloway and Wheeler 2013). Thus (N=4) participants could leave and this
leaves the researcher with data saturation of (N=8) patients.