Understanding the Research Process

Topics: Participant observation, Focus group, Qualitative research Pages: 3 (612 words) Published: May 17, 2012
Understanding the Research Process: Qualitative Workshop Task

Title: Report on the Qualitative Workshop

Research area/general focus/background:

The focus group was formed to explore the themes and understand the feelings surrounding the near death experiences of hospital patients.


My group found the following themes:

• Out of body experiences – One participant felt they were out of their body looking down on the scene as surgeons operated and understood the clinical aspect of the scene. One described no longer being in the room

• Anger/Fear/Sense of being powerless – One participant remembered vivid anger and being vocal about their situation. The participant described a cycle veering between anger, fear and a sense of powerlessness

• Peacefulness, calm and beauty- 3 participants described peaceful scenes: one describing a place of beauty and peace and floating, one described loving caring beings and one described joy and being bathed in white light.

• Religious Experience – 2 of the participants described scenes in religious or near-religious terms including loving caring beings, my guides and God’s helpers and an immense presence

• Great happiness – one participant experienced great joy

• Choice – one participant felt they had the choice to go on or come back to life

• Colour – one client describes colourful scenes whereas 2 other have witnessed predominately white scenes


This focus group offered the participants the chance to interact enabling them to discuss openly with others who had similar experiences. It also enabled participants to ask questions of each other, as well as to re-evaluate and reconsider their own understandings of their specific experiences and discuss common themes. “Focus groups elicit information in a way which allows researchers to find out why an issue is salient, as well as what is salient about it (Morgan 1988). As a result, the gap...

Bibliography: Kitzinger J. (1995) ‘Introducing focus groups’, British Medical Journal 311: 299-302.
Lankshear A.J. (1993) ‘The use of focus groups in a study of attitudes to student nurse assessment’, Journal of Advanced Nursing 18: 1986-89.
Morgan D.L. (1988) Focus groups as qualitative research. London: Sage.
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