Reflections on conducting focus groups with people with learning disabilities: Theoretical and Practical Issues
This paper examines the use of focus groups as a methodological approach when undertaking research with people with learning disabilities. This is presented within the context of an ongoing research project that has principally adopted a participatory research approach and that is seeking to understand how people with learning disabilities conceptualise and understand their mental health. As such, this paper may be seen as a critical case study of the ongoing methodological challenges of using focus groups, as well as exploring some of the thornier practical issues such as recruitment, attendance, data collection, ethical issues and matters of consent, facilitation, venue and payment in adopting this approach when undertaking research with people with learning disabilities. The paper concludes that the focus group approach is a legitimate methodological approach within the research process in the field of learning disabilities.