In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a research study that utilized in-person focus groups to collect qualitative data was abruptly shifted to videoconference focus groups to minimize risk to subjects. Protocol amendments consisted of using an online scheduling tool to arrange focus groups by Zoom, providing electronic versions of consent forms and demographic surveys, and highlighting security features of the videoconference software. Lessons were learned from making an abrupt switch from in-person to remote focus groups. Making this type of shift is not simply a matter of switching for researcher convenience but includes determining the appropriateness of an abrupt switch for the research population of interest, fully understanding videoconference software best practices, decreasing focus group sizes, and increasing the incentive for participation.
ethnography videoconference, focus group, lessons learned
The authors would like to acknowledge Mr. Curtis Roby, Scientific Editor at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center/College of Nursing, for his editorial assistance.
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Recommended APA Citation
Walker, C. M., Williams, L. A., & Bowdre, T. (2021). Lessons Learned in Abruptly Switching from In-Person to Remote Data Collection in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Qualitative Report, 26(8), 2382-2389. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4745