Advances in communication technologies offer new opportunities for the conduct of qualitative research. Among these, Zoom—an innovative videoconferencing platform—has a number of unique features that enhance its potential appeal to qualitative and mixed-methods researchers. Although studies have explored the use of information and communication technologies for conducting research, few have explored both researcher and participant perspectives on the use of web and videoconferencing platforms. Further, data are lacking on the benefits and challenges of using Zoom as a data collection method. In this study, we explore the feasibility and acceptability of using Zoom to collect qualitative interview data within a health research context in order to better understand its suitability for qualitative and mixed-methods researchers. We asked 16 practice nurses who participated in online qualitative interviews about their experiences of using Zoom and concurrently recorded researcher observations. Although several participants experienced technical difficulties, most described their interview experience as highly satisfactory and generally rated Zoom above alternative interviewing mediums such as face-to-face, telephone, and other videoconferencing services, platforms, and products. Findings suggest the viability of Zoom as a tool for collection of qualitative data because of its relative ease of use, cost-effectiveness, data management features, and security options. Further research exploring the utility of Zoom is recommended in order to critically assess and advance innovations in online methods.
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- Health research
- Online research methods
- Qualitative methodology
- Web conferencing