Focus groups bring individuals from the study population together in a specific setting in order to discuss an issue as a group. The discussion generates research data.
Focus groups typically have these features:
Researchers conduct several individual focus group meetings to produce a series. The number of focus groups in the series depends on the study’s aim, methods and resources.
Focus groups use a group setting to generate data different to that obtained in a one-to-one interview. The group context may allow for better examination of beliefs, attitudes, values, perspectives, knowledge and ideas.
Focus groups can be useful in action research methodology and other study designs which seek to empower research participants. Focus groups are also useful in multimethod studies utilising different forms of data collection.
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Shilubane, H. N., Ruiter, R. A., Bos, A. E., Reddy, P. S., & van den Borne, B. (2014). High school students' knowledge and experience with a peer who committed or attempted suicide: a focus group study. BMC Public Health, 14, 1081. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1081
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