Lessons Learned Designing and Using an Online Discussion Forum for Care Coordinators in Primary Care

Jeanne M. Ferrante, Asia Friedman, Eric K. Shaw, Jenna Howard, Deborah J. Cohen, Laleh Shahidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


While an increasing number of researchers are using online discussion forums for qualitative research, few authors have documented their experiences and lessons learned to demonstrate this method's viability and validity in health services research. We comprehensively describe our experiences, from start to finish, of designing and using an asynchronous online discussion forum for collecting and analyzing information elicited from care coordinators in Patient-Centered Medical Homes across the United States. Our lessons learned from each phase, including planning, designing, implementing, using, and ending this private online discussion forum, provide some recommendations for other health services researchers considering this method. An asynchronous online discussion forum is a feasible, efficient, and effective method to conduct a qualitative study, particularly when subjects are health professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1851-1861
Number of pages11
JournalQualitative health research
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Internet
  • USA
  • data collection and management
  • focus groups
  • group interaction
  • health care professionals
  • research, online
  • research, qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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