Journal article

Perils and possibilities: achieving best evidence from focus groups in public health research

Karen Willis, Julie Green, Jeanne Daly, Lara Williamson, Mridula Bandyopadhyay

AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2009

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Focus group research is often seen as a cost-effective way of gathering evidence from multiple research participants about the diversity of their views, experiences or beliefs. Our objective is to argue that focus group research only fulfils its potential if analysis of individual views is extended to include analysis of interaction between participants, so that we learn more why people hold these views. APPROACH: We outline the literature on focus group research, contrasting the 'quick-and-easy' approach with the demands of studies that are designed, conducted and analysed in a methodologically rigorous way to yield high quality public health evidence. CONCLUSION: Well-conducted ..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge feedback received during the Focus Group Seminar held as part of the COMPASS Capacity Building Grant in November 2007, discussion with other members of the Qualitative Research Methods Group in Melbourne, and advice from the anonymous reviewers.