Using focus groups with minority ethnic communities: Researching infertility in British South Asian communities

Qual Health Res. 2007 Jan;17(1):102-12. doi: 10.1177/1049732306296506.


Little attention has been given to the specific methodological issues that can accompany the use of focus groups with minority ethnic communities in the United Kingdom. In this article, the authors discuss the use of this method in a study of the provision of infertility services to South Asian communities in three English cities. Focus groups are an invaluable research method for working in a diverse linguistic and cultural environment, providing interesting, rich, and complex data. However, their use can raise significant methodological and ethical challenges for researchers working with minority ethnic communities. The authors discuss key issues that arose in their exploration of ethnicity and infertility around language and cultural diversity, the role of community facilitators, access and recruitment, infertility as a "sensitive" topic, and reciprocity in research relations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infertility / epidemiology*
  • Language
  • Male
  • Minority Groups*
  • Qualitative Research
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology