Fun with focus groups

The aim of my study is to gain a better understanding of the experiences and needs of people living with dementia and caregivers. Therefore, I am going to have focus group discussions. If we go a little bit more scientific I would write things such as:

Discussions will be held to collect a shared understanding from participants as well as perspectives from specific people (Creswell, 2002). Focus group are a main approach to study people with dementia and technology (Rialle, Ollivet, Guigui, & Hervé, 2009). In addition, focus groups assist researchers capability to gather participants perspectives, experiences and attitudes (Morgan & Krueger, 1993). ….. Discussions makes it easier and more accessible for participants to get an understanding of their past or current experiences and to describe these (Krueger & Casey, 2014).

Etc etc etc


If we take away this academic explanation, and the many things involved with arranging focus groups. It is actually quite fun! One of the reasons why I want to conduct focus groups is because I have had such fond memories of them. For my masters I had discussions with several female participants who became very active during discussion. Some of them (including me) couldn’t just stop laughing about the questions or statements of others. When they started playing a game of rank the best diaper product, well some strange and funny things came up.

Okay it didn’t go this far…

That is just the thing, Focus Groups do not have to be boring statements of “I agree” or “I disagree”! Games can be involved; for example, an article from Colucci (2007) describes the use of activity-oriented questions. Nowadays, in research that involves dementia and technology people are often asked to play computer games and what they think of the games.

Trying out Virtual Reality

The thing is, Focus Groups or participating in research isn’t a boring or even scary thing. Rather, these are opportunities to get involved and having your voice heard!

For more information about joining dementia research please click the following website: 






Colucci, E. (2007). “Focus groups can be fun”: The use of activity-oriented questions in focus group discussions. Qualitative Health Research, 17(10), 1422-1433.
Creswell, J. W. (2002). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative: Prentice Hall Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Krueger, R. A., & Casey, M. A. (2014). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research: Sage publications.
Morgan, D. L., & Krueger, R. A. (1993). When to use focus groups and why.
Rialle, V., Ollivet, C., Guigui, C., & Hervé, C. (2009). What do family caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients desire in smart home technologies?. arXiv preprint arXiv:0904.0437.




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