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BRIEF COMMUNICATION
Year : 2000  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 91-95

Focus Groups: A Qualitative Method Complementing Quantitative Research for Studying Culturally Diverse Groups


1 Department of Ophthalmology; Center for Cross-cultural Epidemiologic Studies, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; The Los Angeles Eye Institute, USA
2 Center for Cross-cultural Epidemiologic Studies; Office of the Dean for Educational Affairs, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, USA

Correspondence Address:
Jose Luis Calderon
Associate Director, Biomedical Research Center-RCMI MP-30, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, 1731 E. 120th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


Context: Focus groups are becoming an important method for conducting qualitative research in health care. This strategy enables information to be gathered on the perceptions, beliefs, and values of a group's participants and is particularly well suited to addressing cultural characteristics that impact on a population's health status. As nations become more culturally diverse, qualitative research will likely play a growing role in helping health professions educators develop appropriate educational programs and in helping researchers better understand the needs of minorities and other vulnerable populations who are experiencing disparities in health care. Objectives: The purposes of this paper are to introduce the usefulness of a qualitative research strategy as an adjunct to quantitative survey research, and to describe briefly how researchers and educators at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (Drew) have utilized this strategy when conducting combined qualitative and quantitative research. Discussion: Focus group research has been successfully used to develop culturally adapted surveys, to develop educational programs, and to conduct needs assessments at Drew, which serves a culturally diverse urban population.


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