Iterative Sampling and Concerns with Saturation

Examples from Reviewers' Comments

"It also seems the focus groups were conducted prior to data analysis.  A strength of qualitative research is the ability to proceed in an iterative fashion, reviewing data in steps and making modifications/revisions to the instruments to test emerging analytic constructs and disconfirm anomalous findings.  A question that emerges is how did the research team know when they reached saturation?  Given that the study was limited to 19 participants, what steps were taken to ensure that the full range of responses were generated?"

"The current manuscript is written as a results paper reporting on a study of three focus groups of female physicians with limited diversity.  One can easily question whether these three focus groups are sufficient to reach saturation."

"I do not feel a study based on two focus groups is adequate to reach saturation.  While there appears to be strong agreement of the patterns from each group, this nevertheless is a study with a sample size of two." 

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