Practical Advice for Planning and Conducting Focus Groups

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, originally called focused interviews, have been used as a data collection method since World War II and are commonly used in social science research. Krueger (1994) describes a focus group as "a carefully planned discussion designed to obtain perceptions on a defined area of interest in a permissive, nonthreatening environment" (p. 6). Guided by a skilled interviewer, participants share their ideas and perceptions, influencing each other by responding to ideas and comments in the discussion. Nurse researchers have many of the necessary skills and topics of interest appropriate for focus groups, yet this methodology is often underutilized. Multiple resources are available that provide indepth information on conducting focus groups (Krueger, 1994; Morgan, 1993; Morgan & Krueger, 1997; Stewart & Shamdasani, 1990) and analyzing the resulting qualitative data (Krueger, 1997a; Miles & Huberman, 1994). The purpose of this article is to provide researchers with suggestions for adapting focus group guidelines to facilitate data collection and ensure optimal use of resources. Insights gained from focus groups conducted by the authors with women at risk for HIV and women with a history of pregnancy after perinatal loss will be presented as examples.

Additional Information

Nursing Research, 48(5), 280-283
Language: English
Date: 1999
focus groups, planning, conducting, guidelines

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