Clinical interviewing with trauma victims: Managing interviewer risk

Anthony J. Urquiza, Gail E. Wyatt, Beth L. Goodlin-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


As data collection methods in the field of family violence and victimology become more sophisticated, it is apparent that clinical interviews are one of the most effective means of acquiring valid and reliable information. However, this presents potential risks to interviewers who are given the dual clinical tasks of collecting sensitive and potentially emotionally painful data and responding in a supportive manner to subjects. Although the use of the clinical interview format is strongly supported, it is recognized that this methodology incurs greater risk to the research team. It is our position that the emotional health of the respondent and the interviewer takes priority over data collection. To this end, every effort should be undertaken to ensure the physical and emotional safety and health of both the respondent and the interviewer. Extensive training of interviewers tends to lessen the likelihood that they will be unaware of the sensitivity of the topic. Monitoring interviewer progress during data collection and coding should include the same sensitivity to their reactions to the data that they (the interviewers) have been trained to demonstrate to a respondent's responses to research questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-772
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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