Adapting Focus Groups to a Rural Context: Challenges and Strategies

  • Goodsell T
  • Ward C
  • Stovall M
  • 18

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Abstract

Focus group research needs to be modified when the focus groups are to be conducted in a rural area or with a rural population. The authors argue for ?seeing the rural?: for recognizing rurality as a social context that affects research. Based on experience with North American rural focus groups, the authors propose six aspects of the design of rural focus groups in which rurality should be taken into account: conceptualizing the rural place, identifying research participants, inviting residents to participate in a focus group, selecting a site for the focus group and scheduling it, conducting the focus group, and expressing appreciation. The article ends with an empirical investigation evaluating selected rural focus group recruitment strategies.

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Authors

  • Todd L. Goodsell

  • Carol J. Ward

  • M. Joshua Stovall

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