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Group Interviews/Focus groups Nina Cogger OT Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Group Interviews/Focus groups Nina Cogger OT Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Group Interviews/Focus groups Nina Cogger OT Education

2 Supporting the Mature Occupational Therapy Student: An investigation into the support systems available for non-traditional Occupational Therapy students in Wales.

3 Methods….. Questionnaires Group Discussion Documentary Analysis

4 Why group discussion/focus group? Potential for discussion amongst recipients, thus encouraging a wider range of responses Practical advantage of acquiring responses from a number of people at one time Saves a lot of organisational and time requirements Range of opinions and viewpoints in one place (Cohen et al, 2007).

5 Continued…… Group interviews can be useful when a group of people have been working together for a while or had a common purpose and were concerned about what each other were saying. (Watts and Ebbutt, 1987) The group interview was felt to be a useful method of gathering data for me, as discussing support issues may be too personal on an individual basis, and therefore a group had the potential for discussing general issues around that area and produce a wide range of information (Stewart et al, 2007),

6 Disadvantages of group/focus interviews Group dynamics - one or several members may dominate the conversation, and not let others contribute towards the discussion (Robson, 1993) Needs skilful chairing and management (Cohen et al, 2007).

7 Another disadvantage of group interviews could be if there is a particularly vocal person, results may be biased towards the dominant persons views. (Stewart et al, 2007) Group interviews may not be conducive when asking people to discuss issues with other people they may not feel comfortable with, particularly sensitive issues (Morgan, 1997)

8 Ideal numbers….. Six – eight Too much, group may fragment and lose focus Too little could pressurise individuals if all the attention is directed towards them

9 So what happened? Interview 2 groups of mature students……..part time and full time students

10 What did I do? Residential weekend – sent out email invitations to all the part time students attending (Cardiff & Wrexham) 8 respondents – good mix Participant information sheets & consent forms


12 And?


14 What actually happened…..

15 What could I have done better?


17 Also………… Full time students

18 On the positive….. The group interview did achieve the aims of clarifying issues that were raised in the questionnaire results and students were happy to contribute and share some of their experiences. Also, due to the time constraints, this method resulted in sharing the opinions of eight individuals in a relatively short time, and provided a rich depth of discussion and interaction.

19 The findings Mature students in the occupational therapy programmes in Wales, are subject to pressures and commitments, but do use a variety of support systems both within and outside of the university.

20 References Cohen, L,, Manion, L., and Morrison, K., (2007), Research Methods in Education (6 th Ed). London. Routledge Falmer Morgan, D., (1997), Focus Groups as Qualitative Research (2 nd Ed) London. Sage University. Robson, C., (1993), Real World Research – A resource for social scientists and practitioners researchers. Oxford. Blackwell Publishers. Stewart, D., Shamdasani, P., and Rook, D., (2007), Focus Groups – Theory and Practice (2 nd Ed) London. Sage Publications. Watts, M., and Ebbutt, D., (1987), More than the sum of the parts: research methods in group interviewing. British Educational Research Journal. Vol 13 (1), 25-35

21 Contact Details

22 Thank you for listening! Any questions?

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