Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

Workshop on ‘Developing qualitative research method skills: analysing and applying your results’

Focus-group interview and data analysis

Fatemeh Rabieea1 c1

a1 School of Health and Policy Studies, University of Central England, Birmingham, B42 2SU, UK


In recent years focus-group interviews, as a means of qualitative data collection, have gained popularity amongst professionals within the health and social care arena. Despite this popularity, analysing qualitative data, particularly focus-group interviews, poses a challenge to most practitioner researchers. The present paper responds to the needs expressed by public health nutritionists, community dietitians and health development specialists following two training sessions organised collaboratively by the Health Development Agency, the Nutrition Society and the British Dietetic Association in 2003. The focus of the present paper is on the concepts and application of framework analysis, especially the use of Krueger's framework. It provides some practical steps for the analysis of individual data, as well as focus-group data using examples from the author's own research, in such a way as to assist the newcomer to qualitative research to engage with the methodology. Thus, it complements the papers by Draper (2004) and Fade (2004) that discuss in detail the complementary role of qualitative data in researching human behaviours, feelings and attitudes. Draper (2004) has provided theoretical and philosophical bases for qualitative data analysis. Fade (2004) has described interpretative phenomenology analysis as a method of analysing individual interview data. The present paper, using framework analysis concentrating on focus-group interviews, provides another approach to qualitative data analysis.


c1 Corresponding author: Professor Fatemeh Rabiee, fax +44 121 331 5498, email