To our knowledge, there are only a few studies comparing the output of involvement methods (Fern 1982; Folch-Lyon et al. 1981; Kaplowitz 2000; Ward et al. 1991; Wutich et al. 2010). Kaplowitz (2000) studied the value
of mangrove Repotrectinib datasheet wetlands among residents living in Yucatan, Mexico and compared focus groups and interviews. The authors showed that the interviews revealed more different discussion topics than the focus groups, while we found that the total number of items was about equal. Fern (1982) who compared the number of unique items (ideas) regarding communication strategies or concerns on job opportunities for women suggested in focus groups and interviews concluded that focus group see more participants produced only 60% to 70% of the items that would have been produced in an individual interview. In our focus groups, participants produced 47% (0.9/1.9 pp) of the items of the interview participants. Unfortunately, both Kaplowitz (2000) and Fern (1982) did not study the differences and similarities of the output contents. Fern (1982) investigated the differences
between interviews and questionnaires (“individuals working alone”) and between questionnaires and focus groups. They also found that interviews revealed more relevant items than questionnaires. However, in contrast to our study, the authors concluded that questionnaires revealed more relevant items than focus groups. Possibly, the complexity of our study topic (genetics and genetic testing) in comparison to the topic of the study of Fern and colleagues (job opportunities
Saracatinib clinical trial for women) could account for the observed differences. Participants in our focus groups and interviews Fossariinae often asked for clarification concerning genetics and genetic testing. The questionnaire participants did not have this opportunity. Clearly, complex topics are less suitable for the detection of new items through questionnaires. Furthermore, combining qualitative methods (triangulation) is mentioned to be an important criterion for finding all different opinions and views in a particular population (Bryman 2001; Denzin and Lincoln 2000; Kvale 1996). Similarly, in our study, both focus groups and interviews were needed to reveal all different items in the study population. The questionnaires did not add any items that were not already mentioned during the other two methods. In contrast to our findings, Folch-Lyon et al. (1981), who compared the attitudes towards contraception in Mexico with focus groups and questionnaires, found no apparent differences between the attitudes (items) revealed by the two methods. Similarly, Ward et al. (1991) who compared the outputs (items) of focus groups and questionnaires of three studies on family planning also found that the outputs of both methods were highly similar. The authors concluded, however, that focus groups brought forward more in depth-information than questionnaires. Wutich et al.