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Qual Health Res. 2002 Jul;12(6):826-43.

Focus groups in rural Gujarat, India: a modified approach.

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Faculté des sciences infirmières, Université de Montréal.


Focus groups have become increasingly popular in health research. However, their feasibility depends on the context of such research. Through discussion of focus groups they conducted in rural India, the authors argue that successful focus groups in rural contexts must be culturally sensitive, with a research team that goes beyond the mere technicalities of collecting data. A culturally competent focus group can result when the research team has geographic, political, economic, and sociocultural knowledge related to the research area and its population. With extensive local collaboration, foreign researchers are better able to conduct data collection respectfully. The authors provide recommendations for future studies toward increasing the cultural appropriateness of focus groups in areas such as rural India.

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