Undertaking qualitative research with ethnic minority groups
This case study outlines some of the data collection challenges our research team faced when conducting research with ethnic minority groups. A pilot exploratory study was conducted to investigate the medication management experiences of caregivers from ethnic minority groups as they care for a family member living with dementia. Three focus groups and seven semistructured individual interviews were carried out over a 4-month period in 2012 in the Illawarra region, a multicultural, urban area south of Sydney, Australia. This case study outlines the way in which the research plan evolved as unforeseen practical challenges were encountered in the field. The lessons learned are written from the perspective of a novice student researcher. They would be useful for others who have little research experience and who are considering conducting qualitative research with ethnic minority groups, including participants who do not speak English. Despite the extra challenges presented by language, the outcome of this project demonstrates that it is possible to work around these, on a small budget, and gather rich data from people who do not often have the opportunity to have their voices heard.