Come Take a Walk with Me

Health and place studies utilize a wide range of methodologies. This article details the "go-along" interview method and its effectiveness as researchers explore the relationship between health and place. Examples of “place” include neighborhoods or local-area contexts. The author grounded the discussion of the "go-along" method in prior research conducted on social capital that took place in two neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

Key Findings:            

  • The "go-along" interview method entails researchers going with interviewees on excursions in local-area contexts. "Go-along" interview methods aim to be inclusive, such that interview respondents are viewed more as participants than subjects.
  • Advantages to the "go-along" interview method include facilitating rapport with community members and contributing to the personal and community empowerment of interview respondents. Safety and analytic issues were noted as some of the limitations.
  • "Go-along" methods can be used alongside other research methods such as geographic information systems (GIS) and focus groups.

"Go-along" interview methods can be used to the benefit of academics and practitioners by providing appraisals of local-area context, focusing on individuals’ actual experiences, and exemplifying community participatory research.