Focus Groups in a Medicine-Dominated Field: Compromises or Quality Improvements?

Marit Solbjør, Wenche Østerlie, John-Arne Skolbekken, Ann Rudinow Sætnan, Siri Forsmo


Mammography screening has traditionally been viewed as a field for medical research. The medical science discourse, however, is highly quantitative, and its claims for validity somewhat opposed to those of qualitative research. To communicate research in a cross-disciplinary field, it is necessary to adapt one’s research to several paradigms. The authors conducted focus group interviews with women due to be screened in a national breast cancer screening program. Their prospective design, both strategic and random sampling, and free discussions during focus groups are all questions of satisfying a medical science discourse in the frames of qualitative research. Focus group research showed itself adaptable through the data collection phase in a cross-disciplinary research project on mammography screening.

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