Using focus groups in community-based participatory research: Challenges and resolutions

Christine Makosky Daley, Aimee S. James, Ezekiel Ulrey, Stephanie Joseph, Angelia Talawyma, Won S. Choi, K. Allen Greiner, M. Kathryn Coe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


A community-based participatory approach requires that community members be involved in all phases of the research process. We describe three focus group studies with American Indians in Kansas and Missouri, using a newly developed method of conducting and analyzing focus groups with community input (72 focus groups, 519 participants). We conducted two needs assessment studies focused on barriers to breast and colorectal cancer screening and one study focused on Internet use for gathering health information. Community members and researchers collaborated to develop guides for the focus group moderators. Community organizations and our community advisory board conducted recruitment, and we trained and employed community members as moderators, assistant moderators, and analysts. Our community partners also helped with dissemination of research findings to their constituents. The methodologic approach and data from these three studies will allow us to more appropriately address health disparities in the American Indian community, with full community support for our research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-706
Number of pages10
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Cancer
  • Community partnerships
  • Disparities
  • Health care
  • Race and racism
  • Racial
  • Research participation
  • Technology
  • Use in research


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