Integrating Care for Older People: New Care for Old, a Systems Approach

By Christopher Foote; Christine Stanners | Go to book overview

APPENDIX 8.2
Focus Groups
A focus group is:
• a small group discussion with a facilitator, usually limited to 8–12 people
• an open-ended, directed, interactive discussion focused on predetermined questions.
Steps in planning a focus group:
• What issues do you want to study?
• What questions do you want answered as a result of the focus group?
• Who wants the results?
• What characteristics should all focus group participants share?
• What costs should be anticipated?
• To whom will you present the results of the study?
• How will they be used?
• How will you present the results?
• How will you ensure the participants have feedback on the results?

The group members will be individuals who have been actively recruited to participate in the focus group and who share key characteristics: for example older people who are active enough to attend a luncheon club, but require transport to get there, would be a useful group to target when transport is an issue for discussion.

There may be an observer who can note the responses of the group members, the points of agreement and disagreement and any bias that may have entered the discussion. The observer will not participate in the discussion.

The success of the group can be very dependent on the facilitator who should be skilled in small group dynamics and take a neutral, non-biased position. He or she will guide the discussion but will not ask leading questions or bias the discussion.

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