Weekly community interviews with high-risk participants: operational issues

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Aggression; Antisocial Personality Disorder; Community Mental Health Centers; Humans; Interviews as Topic; Longitudinal Studies; Questionnaires; Risk Factors; *Risk-Taking; Time Factors; United States; Violence


Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


To address several key questions in social science research, repeated interviews of individuals drawn from difficult populations are required. This article describes an approach for addressing the challenges associated with longitudinal interview studies, including locating research participants, obtaining reliable and valid interview data over time, and retaining participants across the course of the study. We applied this approach to conduct a study designed to identify changeable risk factors for violence among high-risk people with mental illness. To successfully conduct weekly interviews of these individuals in the community across a 6-month period, we developed a flexible and personalized interview format; carefully selected, trained, and supervised staff; and developed incentives to maximize participant retention. Each of these three steps is discussed as a guide for future longitudinal studies that involve interviewing difficult populations.

DOI of Published Version



J Interpers Violence. 2005 May;20(5):632-46. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of interpersonal violence

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID