Focus groups research methodology

Wilkinson, S. (1998) Focus Groups in Feminist Research: Power, Interaction and the Co-Construction of Meaning.It is plausible that editors in the traditionally positivistic realm of health research are inclined to prefer explanations for exact number of groups.Some of these studies refer to existing pragmatic guidelines to justify their numbers, although the two to five focus groups per category recommended in these guidelines sometimes appear to have become two to five groups in total in the studies.Those papers that did report numbers of groups and participants showed a great range in these numbers, but data distribution was positively skewed, i.e. there were many studies with a few focus groups and few studies with high numbers of focus groups (Table 1 ).Overall, reporting of sample size and explanations for this size was poor.

Using Focus Groups for Evaluation - University of Arizona

View Article Google Scholar Sandelowski M: Sample-size in qualitative research.Stewart et al. (2007) observed that rarely are more than 3-4 focus groups conducted in the social sciences.Focus group moderators should pose questions in a way that does not lead group members to provide desired responses, but rather honest and insightful responses.Focus-group interviews have become the research method of choice for many marketing, legal, and political professionals.Our study also indicates that poor reporting could reflect a lack of clear, evidence-based guidance about how to achieve optimal sample size.

We were interested in discovering whether there is more reason for optimism a decade later.View Article PubMed PubMed Central Google Scholar Bariman M, Hylander I: Linkage in the chain of care: a grounded theory of professional cooperation between antenatal care, postpartum care and child health care.In JF Gubrium and JA Holstein (Ed.) Handbook of Qualitative Interviewing.This paper explores the most common methods of data collection used in qualitative research: interviews and focus groups.

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Among those stating that they had reached a point of saturation, several appeared not to have followed principles from grounded theory where data collection and analysis is an iterative process until saturation is reached.Focus groups are a research method used to gather feedback and opinions from customers.Three of the 37 studies reported practical reasons for the number of focus groups conducted.Our objectives were firstly, to describe the current status of sample size in focus group studies reported in health journals.We also did a qualitative assessment of the papers with regard to how number of groups was explained and discussed.Decisions to exclude papers were checked by the other review author (CG).These studies all use mixed methods and the qualitative assessment showed that they typically used the focus group study as a pilot for developing questionnaires etc.

Three focus groups were conducted with residents of a specific community.

Focus groups in tropical diseases research. |

Focus Group | Usability Body of Knowledge

All students whom we approached agreed to participate in focus groups.


Greenbaum, T. (1998). The handbook for focus group research, second edition.

This paper introduces and reviews the use of focus group methodology across the social sciences, identifying three different research traditions within which it has.View Article PubMed PubMed Central Google Scholar Wild K, Boise L, Lundell J, Foucek A: Unobtrusive In-Home Monitoring of Cognitive and Physical Health: Reactions and Perceptions of Older Adults.We have therefore also included mixed method studies, where the focus group interviews are often part of a predominantly quantitative design.

Research Methods

We excluded papers that described planned studies and papers that described internet-based focus groups as we assumed that recruiting participants for such groups possibly invokes other challenges than recruiting participants to face-to-face groups.Excepting one study, where resource constraints were brought up, the only practical limitations mentioned were difficulties in recruiting more participants.Here, more positivistic traditions may make it difficult to argue that a qualitative study can have too many groups.

Prev Chronic Dis. 2008, 5: A52- PubMed PubMed Central Google Scholar Cabassa LJ, Hansen MC, Palinkas LA, Ell K: Azucar y nervios: explanatory models and treatment experiences of Hispanics with diabetes and depression.Six of the 37 studies that gave an explicit explanation for the number of focus groups referred to rules of thumb in the literature.Too much data as a study weakness was not an issue discussed in any of the reviewed papers.Where such explanations were given, our study confirms the dominant role of the concept of data saturation.With qualitative research, researchers seek more open and complete perspectives on the brand or product.

In line with this, sample size should refer to number of groups and not the total number of participants in a study.View Article PubMed PubMed Central Google Scholar Perez F, Aung KD, Ndoro T, Engelsmann B, Dabis F: Participation of traditional birth attendants in prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services in two rural districts in Zimbabwe: a feasibility study.Our study shows the same tendencies, and suggests that the increased use of focus groups in health care studies has not led to an improvement in the quality of reporting.