A guide to the use of focus groups in health care research: Part 1

Contemp Nurse. 2000 Jun;9(2):169-80. doi: 10.5172/conu.2000.9.2.169.


Focus group interviewing is becoming a popular research method among nurses as well as allied health professionals. Prior to performing a focus group interview a novice must first search the literature to gain an understanding of the function, uses, preparation, conduct and analysis of this form of methodology. This paper has been compiled in an attempt to synthesise, condense and simplify the information from an extremely wide and varied focus group literature and provide a comprehensive review to assist nurses who are considering utilising this methodology in their research studies. The purpose of this paper was stimulated by one of the author's (MP) own experience learning about focus group methodology before commencing her first focus group.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Communication
  • Confidentiality
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Data Collection / standards
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Focus Groups / methods*
  • Focus Groups / standards
  • Group Processes
  • Group Structure
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods*
  • Nursing Methodology Research / organization & administration*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design / standards*
  • Sample Size
  • Sampling Studies