Focus Group Protocol Guide

A guide to organising effective focus groups and getting the most from the data you collect

Focus groups are a facilitated discussion and work well when the topic can be well scoped. They differ from one-on-one and group interviews in that they capitalise on communication between participants to generate understandings (but not necessarily consensus) about the research topic being discussed. Focus groups have proven particularly effective for research that seeks to explore ideas, concepts and where there is a desire to create shared meanings about issues through discussing them with others.

This guide is designed to help you to organise, run and analyse the findings from focus groups. The guide assumes little prior knowledge of research methods and provides information on participant recruitment, focus group structuring and management of the focus group process, as well as a brief discussion and suggestions for making sense of the resulting qualitative data.

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