12.2.1 Ideal characteristics of a focus group discussion
The ideal characteristics for a focus group are as follows:
- The group consists of eight to twelve members.
- The people in the group are similar in terms of demographics and socioeconomic factors (e.g. consisting of all women, or all adolescents, etc.) but are likely to have a range of different views.
- Discussion generally lasts for 90 minutes to two hours.
- The moderator has experience of the issues being discussed.
- Conversation should be videoed and/or audio-taped, or notes taken.
- Emphasis is on the interaction between the group members, rather than their individual perspectives.
- The goal is not for everyone to reach agreement; instead, the aim is for the participants to reflect on the discussion topics, present their opinions, and respond to the comments of other group members.