Recruitment criteria of focus groups

Date of publication: September 1, 1996


To guide the decision of whether or not to recruit participants with previous experience in attending group discussions, we summarize data from experimental research carried out since 1987 in Spain. The effect of participants' previous experience and their honesty about their motivations, expectations, feelings and anxiety before and after participating in a group, as well as on the process and content of the group, were studied. The authors recommend recruiting inexperienced participants as they are more suitable for improved quality standards. The participants' experience should never be concealed, and at least 50% of any group working on any research project should lack previous experience.

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