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focus groups, methodological rigor, qualitative research, reflexive account



  1. Rettke, Horst
  2. Pretto, Manuela
  3. Spichiger, Elisabeth
  4. Frei, Irena Anna
  5. Spirig, Rebecca


Background: Reflexivity can be helpful in developing the methodological rigor necessary to attaining trustworthy qualitative study results.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate strategies of critical reflexive thinking during a qualitative enquiry rooted in a mixed-methods study.


Methods: Guided by the questions of Rolfe and colleagues from 2001 ("what," "so what," and "now what"), we applied reflexive thinking to all aspects of the investigation.


Results: Critical reflexive thinking strongly supported our efforts to establish methodological rigor and helped reveal shortcomings.


Discussion: Effective strategical use of reflexive thinking takes concerted effort. Both time and space are essential to applying reflexive thinking throughout the qualitative research process.