Focus group methods in dental research


A structured integrative review of focus groups, their use and complexity, as a methodology for dental research.


Introduction: Focus group methods have been increasingly used in dental research. However, although focus group methods appear quite simple and easy to carry out, there are a number of complexities that need to be considered.

Method: The present integrative review was carried out to assess the usability of focus group methods for dental research.

Results: Three key themes were identified from the qualitative review: the complexity of the method; benefits of focus group research for dentistry; and, the nature of the quality controls employed.

Conclusion: A key strength of using focus groups is that they can enhance qualitative and quantitative methodologies by helping to clarify, extend, qualify, or challenge what has been found.

Journal of the Irish Dental Association 2016; 62 (5): 271-275

Dr S. Curtin
School of Dentistry, University College Cork, Ireland

A. Trace
School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland

Corresponding author: Dr Sharon Curtin, School of Dentistry, Wilton, Cork City, Ireland
E: T: 021-490 1144 F: 021-490 1193