What is a Medical In-depth Interview?

August 27, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Jack M. Shapiro, Principal Consultant for J.M. Shapiro Healthcare Marketing Research and Consulting has provided a succinct description of medical in-depth interviews which companies such as his provide clients in the fields of prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, supplies and devices, hospitals, managed care, homecare, diagnostics, clinical research organizations, advertising agencies, branding specialists, and venture capitalists:

While companies often use focus groups to obtain initial reactions to products, services and promotional concepts, a second step frequently involves in-depth interviews with physicians, consumers, nurses, pharmacists, administrators and other related personnel in order to confirm focus group findings and plunge into particular subjects in greater depth than a focus group would allow. This is a more data-rich, labor-intensive technique where respondents can be individually interviewed for an hour or longer (45-minutes interviews are quite common) in order to reveal their deepest thoughts and motivations. By comparison, a respondent might only speak for 10 – 15 minutes in a 10 –12 person focus group lasting for two hours.

The interviews are conducted by a trained interviewer working from a prepared discussion guide. While this is usually considered to be qualitative, non-projectable research with samples of no more than 30 – 50 respondents (and often fewer), some studies can become projectable when sample sizes reach 100 or more. Many in-depth interview studies are conducted in focus group facilities with two-way mirrors for clients to observe, but studies have often been conducted over the telephone or in other venues (restaurants, offices, the respondents’ homes, for example). Interviews are usually tape recorded with the respondent’s permission.

Given the great amount of data that can be generated by this technique as well as longer time spent in the field conducting the research, in-depth interview studies might take considerably longer to execute and issue a report than focus groups which are often viewed in just a few nights.


Jack M. Shapiro is an internationally-known healthcare marketing researcher, consultant, futurist, broadcast journalist and public speaker.

Jack includes among his clients major companies in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and insurance companies, advertising agencies, hospitals, and manufacturers of medical equipment, supplies and devices. Often quoted in the healthcare industry, general business, and lay publications, Jack has been a frequent guest on national television (ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX, PBS and abroad on BBC and ITN) and radio as a commentator on healthcare trends and politics in the United States and overseas.

From 1997-1999, he was the host of “MEDI-POLITICS,” a nationally-syndicated radio show focusing on the politics and future of healthcare as well as key legal and ethical issues. The show reached more than 40 markets in 26 states (31 million people in-audience) and around the world on the internet.

Jack has spent 40 years in the healthcare field, both in the U.S. and abroad. Before forming his successful research and consulting company, he held high-level management positions in marketing and market research with healthcare giants such as Wyeth and Pfizer.

He is currently writing a book about the future of American healthcare based on his long experience in the healthcare industry, in-depth interviews with leading experts who appeared on his radio show as well as on-going poll results generated by his market research company.

Recently Jack was the event host and master-of-ceremonies at the “Global Pharma R&D Summit,” attended by over 250 top pharmaceutical scientists from around the world. Jack is also available to speak and write on future healthcare trends and is well-known keynote speaker.
P.O. BOX 1025
Maywood, NJ 07607
Phone: 201-441-9815
Web site: www.JackShapiro.com

Maywood, NJ