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Using teleconferencing to enable general practitioner participation in focus groups

  • Helen Tolhurst (a1) and Sarah Dean (a2)

Abstract

Focus groups are used increasingly in general practice research, especially where a qualitative method is required to answer exploratory questions. Recently teleconferencing has been used to conduct focus groups in research on rural general practitioners, where distance makes face-to-face focus groups difficult and where anonymity of participants is important. This paper discusses advantages and disadvantages of using teleconferencing as a means of undertaking focus groups and provides examples of research where this has been used. We conclude that focus groups, conducted using teleconferencing, are an appropriate method in research on general practitioners, and can be particularly useful, when conducting research in rural and remote areas, and when anonymity of participants is desirable.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Helen Tolhurst, Rural Research Fellow, Discipline of General Practice (Newbolds), School of Medical Practice and Population Health, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. Email: helen.tolhurst@newcastle.edu.au

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Using teleconferencing to enable general practitioner participation in focus groups

  • Helen Tolhurst (a1) and Sarah Dean (a2)

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