Focus groups are one of many methods utilized by researchers to gather qualitative data. This method consists in simultaneously interviewing a group of people, usually 6-8, in the same location with a shared factor (Krueger& Casey, 2000). They are also a powerful tool to assess services or examine new ideas (Krueger& Casey, 2000; McNamara, n.d.). Focus groups are an ideal data gathering method for researchers because they allow them to learn the social norms of the community or subgroup being connected to the research (Krueger& Casey, 2000; Mack, Woodsong, MacQueen, Guest, & Namey, 2005). Due to the mix of individuals from diverse areas within the community, they also allow researchers to explore the different perspectives present within it (Krueger& Casey, 2000).
This kind of gathering method attempt to promote group opinion and is especially useful for research involving social behavioral assessments that will be utilized for the creation and determination of services targeted to meet the needs of an specific group or population (Krueger& Casey, 2000). The group is lead by a researcher acting like a moderator, which through the use of open ended questions leads the discussion (Mack, Woodsong, MacQueen, Guest, & Namey, 2005). Focus groups allow researchers to obtain valuable feedback or comments regarding the researched topic (Krueger& Casey, 2000). These groups are utilized by organizations for diverse purposed such as marketing, product or service improvement, evaluation, or for the creation of mission statements or strategic plans (Krueger& Casey, 2000). The use of focus groups as a data gathering method produces a significant amount of information over a short period of time (Mack et al., 2005). However, they are not the most suitable method to gather data regarding highly social and personal topics (Krueger& Casey, 2000; Mack et al., 2005). Compiling Data
Focus groups usually gather data on diverse ways. Most times the facilitator...
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