Revista Facultad Nacional de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0120-386X
ARBOLEDA, Luz M. The discussion group as methodological approach in qualitative research. Rev. Fac. Nac. Salud Pública [online]. 2008, vol.26, n.1, pp. 69-77. ISSN 0120-386X.
This article is focused on the discussion group: its origins, definitions, and theoretical, epistemological and procedures context. The way in which the discussion group was used as a method in the research "Meaning of popular knowledge in feeding for nutritionists and dietitians of the Aburrá Valley" is also presented, arguing its relevance in investigation and thoroughly presenting its design from the procedures proposed for that method. This methodology was conducted with great success because the topic of meaning in popular knowledge requires open and flexible discussions in order to find sense and meaning in a combined form. As a method, the discussion group has been poorly explored in researches about culture and even less in the health sector. The most usual technique in this area is the focus group, mainly developed in the field of marketing to establish likes and preferences of consumers, which is achieved by means of summoning a group of people in order to know their opinions, likes and preferences. Focal groups are not used to look for sense whereas discussion groups are mainly used with such purpose, that is to say, to find the sense of the topic in discussion.
Keywords : discussion group; focal group; qualitative research; epistemology.