Toya M. Oyeilumi HCM 375 Critique # 2 4/14/10 Focus group discussion: a tool for health and medical research Wong, L P Singapore Medical Journal 2008 volume 49 issue 3 p. 256-261 The general purpose of the article is to inform readers of how beneficial focus groups can be to healthcare research. The author seeks to convince the audience that focus groups are better for healthcare research than other methods of research. The author also outlines the methods in which a successful focus group is conducted.
The authors intended audience is healthcare researchers. The article is written at an introductory level, therefore the reader does not need to have a strong background in research to understand the material written in the article. In fact, the article is written at such a basic level that in my opinion, researchers currently in the healthcare field would probably have no use of the article because the material is not new to them. Therefore, this article should probably be aimed towards students who are entering the field of healthcare research.
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The article is conceptual because although it refers to some empirical evidence, there are no detailed research results, data analysis, or any other form of evidence actually given in the article. In fact, the author does little to support claims that focus groups are a better method of research than other methods. To summarize, the article addresses the need for more qualitative research in the field of healthcare. The author proposes that focus groups are more beneficial to healthcare research than other methods of research, and also gives the audience an understanding of what a focus group is and how it is conducted.
Although the author is trying to inform the audience of the benefits of focus groups, she remains unbiased due to the fact that she gives the audience the advantages, as well as the disadvantages of focus group research. The author refers to various healthcare research studies, and explains how focus groups helped to contribute to the research, but offers no empirical data to support her claims. The author claims that focus groups shows more dimensions of understanding than other research methods, but does not offer clear evidence or examples of her claims.
In conclusion, although the author does an excellent job of outlining the method of focus groups, I am not convinced that it is a better method of research in the healthcare field than any other research method. I also feel as though the article is not well suited for those who are already in the field of healthcare research because of the fact that it is so basic and offers very little data to support its claims. As a student, I am not totally convinced and that fact tells me that medical researchers probably wouldn’t be convinced either.