Focus Nursing Groups In Nursing Education

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 Focus Groups In Nursing Education

Focus Nursing Groups In Nursing Education

What are Focus Groups,Impact of Focused Nursing Groups,Outcomes Focused Nursing Groups In Nursing Education.

What are Focus Groups

    The focus group is a form of qualitative research used to organize group discussions around a specific topic or set of issues that will yield focused experiences, opinions, or points of view that are deliberated on during group interactions. Topics such as the causes of societal stigma about mental illness or examination of a public health announcement for cultural and developmental sensitivity are examples of its utility (Kitzinger, 1994). 

    Focus groups are widely used in marketing, social research, and, in recent years, health care, including nursing. The key elements that differentiate focus groups from other types of inquiry are the insights and data that are produced during interactions among participants (Kitzinger, 1994)

Impact of Focused Nursing Groups

    Focus groups provide an excellent approach for determining why and how people think the way they do about specific phenomena. Focus groups can be used to explore how individuals understand health and disease treatment, and alternative approaches to care. Data that are generated by focus groups may not be easily obtainable through other methods , such as surveys, face-to-face interviews, or questionnaires. 

    Beliefs and practices about health and disease can be deliberated on within the context of a group of individuals who share knowledge and experiences about various phenomena, and a large cluster of data can be generated in a short period of time (Feen, 2001; James, McGlone West, & Madrid, 2013).There are some methodological requirements that should be considered when using focus groups typically, they are 90 to 120 minutes in duration and consist of 7 to 12 individuals (Fern, 2001). 

    The inherent nature of focus groups suggests that they should be well-planned and tightly organized events with a stated purpose and a specific outcome use for the data. A set of soundly written research questions that are based on the current state of knowledge that is being explored should serve as the basis for the questions, which guide a discussion (Gibbs, 1997; Merton & Kendall, 1946).Recent research studies suggest that focus groups are widely used to explore approaches to improving health outcomes. 

    Focus groups can be advantageous when there are divergent opinions and differences among people who must make important decisions regarding a variety of issues, such as those that confront nursing and health care (Higgins, Porter, & O'Halloran, 2014; Then, Rankin, & Ali, 2014) Matters that could be explored with this methodology might include identifying health disparities in rural and underserved populations, or exploring the needs of patients with severe mental illness and their caregivers (Then et al., 2014).

     Even though educators and researchers might be aware that these disparities or needs exist, the opulent and/or candid information that focus group data provide can allow for more accurate identification of specific areas for intervention, or barriers to care that might not otherwise be revealed (Angelo, Egan, & Importantly, the challenge to accurately identify and respond to the health needs of America's dramatic demographic population shifts could be enhanced through the use of focus groups (Angelo et al, 2013; McDonald, Kidney, & Patka, 2013). 

    When working with people from varied racial/ethnic backgrounds and perspectives, focus groups can provide powerful methods for exploring cultural influence on morbidity, mortality, and well-being. Focus groups can help to galvanize trust among health care workers and individuals with chronic or terminal illnesses and their families. This method can help patients and families unravel personal experiences with specific disease conditions in the service of improving health care, or structuring salient research questions for future exploration, or addressing changes in nursing curricula.

Outcomes Focused Nursing Groups In Nursing Education

    Whether addressing health disparities or overall improvements in care, the rich details afforded by this data collection approach has led to an increase in the use of focus groups in health care research over the last several decades (Then et al., 2014). Focus groups provide a forum through which the needs and perspectives of all involved parties are identified and on which future inquiry and evidence-based practice can be generated (Ryan, Lillie, Thwaites, & Adams, 2013). Another distinct advantage of focus groups is that they give people with limited literacy a chance to express concerns within the group milieu, where a comfortable and welcoming environment can be established and maintained by the leader. 

    However, the researcher must be aware of some of the disadvantages of focus groups guidelines about how confidentiality will be handled should be addressed, and some group members might decide to remain quiet because of disagreement with the decisions that the group could make or because they feel their thoughts are not within the mainstream of the topics that are being generated by the group (Higginset al., 2014; Kitzinger, 1994).Focus groups can be powerful tools in nursing when data are needed about attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, and motivations about a particular phenomenon such as health and disease. 

    They are also useful when working with groups that have limited literacy and might otherwise be excluded from other types of research protocols. Technological advances make the method more accessible to nursing educators and researchers through the use of audio and video recording devices that capture the essence of discussions, and computer software that can aid in data analyses. However, the essence of the value of the focus group is embedded in the interpretation and application of the information that can be derived from group interactions. 

    The application of the findings from a focus group should be carefully employed. Within the context of focus group methods and data generation, the 15 National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. (CLAS) in research and clinical practice might provide guidance for the advancement of health equity and the improvement of health outcomes for all people (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2012).

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