‘Mixing’ Focus Groups & Individual Interviews

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    Iain McGowan

    Hi, I am currently undertaking my PhD examining heroin users experiences of the care and treatment they receive. Initially the intention was to use focus groups to get data, however informal feedback from some potential participants was that they would prefer one to one interviews. This has left me with a methodological problem.

    I cant seem to find any literature that discusses the merits or otherwise of mixing focus groups and individual interviews into one data set.I know the literature that discusses the pros and cons of each method, but cant find anything that guides on whether it is appropriate to use both! Would appreciate some guidance.

    Thanks in advance.

    Hi lain,

    Nothing unusual to get one to one interviews with the heroine users care and treatment. What I feel is that the treatment for such patients will be broadly on common nature more on psycological than on scientifical. It doesnot mean that medicines is not useful for such treatment. Medicines is given only to heal the injuries it caused to the heroine users to get relieved totally free from the influence of it train the patient with mental makeup i.e to treat the patient with love and care.

    Hence accordingly the data set can be similar to all on common ground with scope to include un matching data to the study.

    Pat Bazeley

    Use some of both as they are likely to give you different perspectives on the same problem, which would be very useful. You might even add in some field data (observations, comments from casual conversations, notes made when making appointments, etc) for some additional richness.


    Please read :
    Combining individual interviews and focus groups to enhance data richness
    Authors: Lambert, Sylvie D.1; Loiselle, Carmen G.2
    Source: Journal of Advanced Nursing, Volume 62, Number 2, April 2008 , pp. 228-237(10)
    Publisher: Blackwell Publishing

    Iain McGowan

    Ramaseshan, Pat, Muhammad- thank you so much for your replies. I was (am) going to have to use both so your comments and guidance are extremely useful.
    Many thanks again.

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