Focus group discussions in medical research

Indian J Pediatr. 2000 May;67(5):358-62. doi: 10.1007/BF02820688.


Qualitative research methods have recently started to gain popularity in social and health sciences for determining a more holistic view of peoples' perceptions about health. Focus group discussions are frequently used to obtain perspectives and attitudes of people about issues, seek explanations for behavior, triangulate data obtained through other qualitative methods and generate hypotheses. To facilitate clinicians to comprehend the use of focus group methodology in the clinical field, the meaning, purpose, advantages, limitations and quality assurance measures of focus group discussions are described. The general requirements and the method for conducting focus groups are briefly explained. In addition, key issues that could be addressed by focus group methodology have also been highlighted.

MeSH terms

  • Focus Groups*
  • Group Processes
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Quality Control
  • Research Design*