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Public Health Nurs. 1996 Jun;13(3):170-6.

Focus groups: collecting aggregate-level data to understand community health phenomena.

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Health Maintenance Department, School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Mil-waukee 53201, USA.


Focus-group method is an apt strategy for studying community health phenomena at the aggregate level. Not only can its use facilitate the inclusion of segments of the population who have been underserved by previous research, but it can generate a depth of understanding about public health problems, community strengths, and potential interventions that have local meaning and utility. Advantages and potential uses of focus groups are explored, as well as purposes and processes of focus-group interviewing, strategies for analysis, methodological limitations, and implications for practice and policy. The author presents investigatory examples to illustrate how focus-group method expands on the possibilities of individual interviewing to explore community interpretations and understand the health needs and experiences of an aggregate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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