Maintaining Your Focus in Focus Groups: Avoiding Common Mistakes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Denise Côté-Arsenault, Professor; Department Chair (Parent & Child Nursing) (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Focus groups are used frequently in nursing research as a method for collecting qualitative data. However, due to inadequate planning or execution, the results can be of poor quality or even worthless. A well-defined purpose, carefully planned environment, and well trained personnel are discussed as the cornerstones to focus group success. This article sets the stage with a description of a well conducted focus group, then provides examples and a critique of less-than-effective groups. Focus groups can be powerful and effective when their use is appropriate to the study purpose, the environment is non-judgmental and welcoming, and the personnel are skilled.

Additional Information

Research in Nursing & Health, 28(2), 172-179
Language: English
Date: 2005
focus groups, research methodology

Email this document to