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Interviews and focus groups in qualitative research: an update for the digital age

BDJ volume 225, pages 668672 (12 October 2018) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Qualitative research is used increasingly in dentistry, due to its potential to provide meaningful, in-depth insights into participants' experiences, perspectives, beliefs and behaviours. These insights can subsequently help to inform developments in dental practice and further related research. The most common methods of data collection used in qualitative research are interviews and focus groups. While these are primarily conducted face-to-face, the ongoing evolution of digital technologies, such as video chat and online forums, has further transformed these methods of data collection. This paper therefore discusses interviews and focus groups in detail, outlines how they can be used in practice, how digital technologies can further inform the data collection process, and what these methods can offer dentistry.

Key points

  • Highlights that qualitative research is used increasingly in dentistry. Interviews and focus groups remain the most common qualitative methods of data collection.

  • Suggests the advent of digital technologies has transformed how qualitative research can now be undertaken.

  • Suggests interviews and focus groups can offer significant, meaningful insight into participants' experiences, beliefs and perspectives, which can help to inform developments in dental practice.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Senior Lecturer (Adult Nursing), School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University

    • P. Gill
  2. Lecturer (Adult Nursing) and RCBC Wales Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University

    • J. Baillie

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to P. Gill.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2018.815