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Participant experience focus groups

Focus groups are a useful way of receiving feedback on people’s experience of a health service to identify gaps in service delivery and areas for improvement. Local health districts (LHDs) and primary health networks (PHNs) can use focus groups to:

  • collect information about participant experience and participant-reported outcomes after involvement in a program or service
  • use this information to inform local service development and other quality improvement activities
  • identify trends in participant experiences across NSW (if applied across multiple LHDs within the same setting/cohort)
  • inform the priorities and activities of relevant groups, ensuring that consumer’s needs and preferences are met.

Participant experience focus groups: Facilitation guide

The Participant experience focus groups: Facilitation guide shows how LHDs and PHNs can use focus groups to collect information about the participant experience with the ultimate aim of improving services.

It contains information on:

  • capturing participant experience—the eight dimensions of patient-centred care
  • what is a focus group?
  • ethical considerations
  • organising a focus group
  • facilitating focus group discussion
  • data collection, analysis and reporting
  • the cost of implementation
  • using focus groups to hear Aboriginal voices
  • conducting multicultural focus groups.


These templates have been designed to provide examples of resources you can use when planning a focus group. It is intended they are customised to suit local programs and services, and the objectives of the focus group.


Have you conducted, or are you planning to conduct a focus group using the Facilitation Guide?

We welcome your feedback on the effectiveness of the Facilitation Guide in supporting you to achieve these objectives. Your confidential responses, which will take you about 5 minutes, will help us continue to improve this resource.

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