This short focus group session gives the participants a possibility to take part in a benchmarking project of three health libraries by commenting and discussing benchmarking as a method.
What is a focus group?
A focus group is a moderated discussion with 5 to 10 participants. The purpose of focus groups is not consensus building, it is to obtain a range of opinions from a representative set of people to create a picture of the attitudes, beliefs, desires, and reactions to concepts that exist among the participants.
The idea behind the method is to create a context for group interaction in which participants “play ball” with each other. Input from others and evoking thoughts, stimulates creativity and interpretation. The method is useful not only to find the range of views, but also for the participants to learn from each other, and to generate a sense of social cohesion.
In such groups, usually some people take a more dominant role than others do, and some are more modest with their views. Each user’s point of view is of interest and it is the moderator’s task to encourage each user to express their unique points of view. The moderators also have the responsibility to steer the conversation in order to maintain a focus on themes and issues to be covered.
A semi-structured interview guide structures the discussion. This makes the conversation open and flexible so that one can follow threads and details that arise. An advantage when using focus group is to observe the participants’ reactions and study the discussions that occur between different participants. This can give an extra dimension to the discussions.
Focus group is a qualitative method, the results cannot be generalized to a population (e.g. all participants at the EAHIL workshop), but can say something about trends and point out features and patterns that recur.
Focus group on benchmarking
In our session we look for perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes about
- our benchmarking project so far, see
- the pros and cons of data comparison
- the pros and cons of site visits, see
- the possibilities of implementing best/good practices, see
- how the project should proceed
- something else that emerges during the session
We will take notes but participants will also be asked to put a word or two on post-it notes. We will then sum-up the results in a blog post after the workshop.
If you will be attending our workshop session, please, before Friday 12th June, 2015, introduce yourself very shortly (name, organization, main tasks) by commenting this post. You can also very shortly explain why you chose this session.