Focus Groups – The Challenges

October 27, 2014 (old blog)

The second phase of RIPPLE starts this week and as expected, I’m very excited to see what participants have to say about our newly-developed intervention.

For this phase of the study, we will host four focus groups with ~30 pediatric-focused administrators, clinicians, researchers, and students in order to gain perspectives on RIPPLE and refine accordingly prior to use with parents in primary care.

Although focus groups seem like the perfect method to generate and capture a group discussion, they are not without challenges; for example:

1. Some members are quiet and their perspectives go unheard.
2. Some members are particularly verbose and their opinions may dominate the group discussion and overshadow more timid members.
3. Group mentality may prevent individual views from being voiced at all.

Don’t get me wrong – these challenges are not to say focus groups are a poor method. It’s the responsibility of the moderator to have these issues on the radar and know how to overcome them if they happen.


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