Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 168–179 | Cite as

Focus Group in Community Mental Health Research: Need for Adaption

  • Vesna Zupančič
  • Majda Pahor
  • Tina Kogovšek
Original Paper


The article presents an analysis of the use of focus groups in researching community mental health users, starting with the reasons for using them, their implementation in mental health service users’ research, and the adaptations of focus group use when researching the experiences of users. Based on personal research experience and a review of scientific publications in the Google Scholar, Web of Science, ProQuest, EBSCOhost, and Scopus databases, 20 articles published between 2010 and 2016 were selected for targeted content analysis. A checklist for reporting on the use of focus groups with community mental health service users, aiming to improve the comparability, verifiability and validity was developed. Adaptations of the implementation of focus groups in relation to participants’ characteristics were suggested. Focus groups are not only useful as a scientific research technique, but also for ensuring service users’ participation in decision-making in community mental health and evaluating the quality of the mental health system and services .


Qualitative research Focus group Data publication Community mental health User perspective Performance evaluation 



This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There are no financial, personal, or academic conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval for this research was not required. Questions for patients were formulated in such a manner that did not allow an invasion of privacy or recollection of unpleasant events.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Health of the Republic of SloveniaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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