The contribution of focus group discussions to Aboriginal Australian health service research
A content analysis of practice and experience
Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) are a common way of gathering qualitative data in Aboriginal health services research; however there have been no studies on the question of whether they are appropriate research tools in such contexts, nor are there are specific guidelines available to ensure that FGDs are delivered to collect data in ways that are consistent with Aboriginal approaches to consultation, ownership and ways of knowing. Furthermore, there is a lack of clarity concerning the theoretical and methodological perspectives that could be operationalised by FGDs to gather data, guide analysis and interpretation in ways that are culturally appropriate, ethically sound and rigorous. We undertook a content analysis of Aboriginal health services research studies using FGDs to determine their use and elements that may provide insight into good practice. A framework is proposed to help guide future FGD research with Aboriginal people.