Using focus groups as a research method: a personal experience

J Nurs Manag. 2002 Jan;10(1):27-35. doi: 10.1046/j.0966-0429.2001.00273.x.


Aim: The personal experience and systematic process of using focus groups as a research method to assist change within an NHS Trust are described.

Background: Focus groups have recently emerged as a popular qualitative research method in health research and were used in a qualitative research study to explore, from an Enrolled Nurse perspective, what it was that prevented them coming forward for conversion to the First Level of the UKCC Nursing Register.

Method: The author facilitated the five focus groups with Enrolled Nurse membership within the local organizational context. Data were recorded on audio-tapes and transcribed in preparation for analysis.

Results: The use of focus groups in health care research has key benefits for involving people in the research process and the subsequent changes that may occur as a result. The use of focus groups presented real challenges in the area of recruiting Enrolled Nurses to engage in such a process.

Conclusions: Focus groups have a valuable role to play in both research and the involvement of people in organizational change and development. However, to persuade traditionally disempowered groups to engage in the process will be a challenge to the leaders of such projects.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Focus Groups*
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Research / methods*
  • Nursing Services / organization & administration*
  • Pilot Projects
  • United Kingdom