Novel (Multilevel) Focus Group Training for a Transdisciplinary Research Consortium

Jeni Hebert-Beirne, Lisa Kane Low, Kathryn L. Burgio, Cecilia T. Hardacker, Deepa R. Camenga, Aimee S. James, Diane K. Newman, Kyle Rudser, Jesse Nodora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Health researchers are increasingly turning to qualitative research for a nuanced understanding of complex health phenomena. The quality and rigor of qualitative research relies on individual data collector skills, yet few guidelines exist for training multidisciplinary, multi-institution qualitative research teams. Specific guidance is needed on qualitative research practices that ensure scientific rigor by optimizing diverse experience and expertise across research centers. We describe our systematic approach to training a cohort of 15 focus group moderators from seven universities in the Prevention of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (PLUS) Research Consortium’s Study of Habits, Attitudes, Realities, and Experiences (SHARE). SHARE’s aim was to explore women and girls’ experiences, perceptions, beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors related to bladder health and function across the life course. Drawing on adult education and action-learning best practices, a three-phase curriculum was designed to maximize moderator proficiency and qualitative research expertise. The phases involved online, interactive web-based education, in-person didactic training with experiential components, and tailored supplemental online training. Evaluative feedback was collected before, during, and after the training. Feedback was used to identify emergent training needs. This training approach may be used by transdisciplinary research teams conducting multisite research to assure qualitative research credibility and trustworthiness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-376
Number of pages10
JournalHealth promotion practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2021


  • child/adolescent health
  • health promotion
  • health research
  • process evaluation
  • program planning and evaluation
  • qualitative research
  • women’s health


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