Focus Group Discussion: A Method of Problem Solving in Nursing


Abdollah Mousavi-Ouri 1 , *

1 MSc of Nursing, Department of Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Iran

How to Cite: Mousavi-Ouri A . Focus Group Discussion: A Method of Problem Solving in Nursing, Strides Dev Med Educ. 2016 ; 13(3):e57852.


Strides in Development of Medical Education: 13 (3); e57852
Published Online: August 31, 2016
Article Type: Research Article
Received: July 09, 2017
Accepted: April 10, 2016




Background & Objective: Focus group discussions are a way to solve problems in nursing. A great extent of information on the specific issues and problems of nursing can be obtained through the activity of members in this method. The aim of this study was to review studies conducted using this method as a problem solving method in nursing.

Methods: This study was a descriptive review on the objectives, processes, and applications of focus group discussion regarding problem solving in nursing. The databases of Iranmedex, Magiran, SID, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Elsevier, Google Scholar, and PubMed were searched using the keyword of focus group, group interviews, nursing, and focus group discussion for publication in the years 1998-2015.

Results: A focus group is a semi-structured group session which is moderated by a group leader and held in an informal setting to collect information about a designated topic. A focus group discussion is an interview with emphasis on interaction between the participants, and the data generated is very difficult to achieve through individual interviews or participant observation. The main components of a focus group include a skilled moderator, appropriately selected participants, appropriate place and time, and correct implementation of the process. Tape recording and verbatim transcription along with field notes are the usual methods of documenting data in focus groups.

Conclusion: Focus group discussion consists of a series of carefully planned discussions designed to obtain perceptions on a defined area of interest in a permissive, non-threatening environment. Cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and stimulating are some of the features of focus group discussions which can generate very useful information.


Focus group Group interviews Qualitative research Focus group discussion

© 2016, Medical Education Development Center. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.




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