Promoting Community Empowerment Among Rural Tibetans in China Using Focus Group Discussions

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Ljunggren, Anethe [UNIFESP]
Huang, Zuli [UNIFESP]
Wang, Fang [UNIFESP]
Johansson, Eva [UNIFESP]
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We had two aims in conducting this study: to explore if focus group discussions (FGDs) could empower rural Tibetans in Western China to recognize their own needs and potential, and to investigate if the process could be monitored by way of repeat FGDs. Five FGDs were conducted among each of three focus groups (FGs) over a 5-year period, amounting to 15 FGDs. the FG participants also took part in volunteer training and in community practice. Content analysis was used to analyze the transcripts of the FGD sessions. Our findings indicate that repeat FGDs can be used as a tool to monitor the process of community empowerment. the method can motivate community members to take part in their own development, improve their self-awareness, and help them become conscious of the real issues facing the community.
Qualitative Health Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Inc, v. 20, n. 9, p. 1183-1191, 2010.