Using synchronous online focus groups with young people Dr Fiona Fox Qualitative Research Consultant University of Bath f.fox@bath.ac.uk - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Using synchronous online focus groups with young people Dr Fiona Fox Qualitative Research Consultant University of Bath f.fox@bath.ac.uk

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Title: Using synchronous online focus groups with young people Dr Fiona Fox Qualitative Research Consultant University of Bath f.fox@bath.ac.uk


1
Using synchronous online focus groups with
young peopleDr Fiona Fox Qualitative
Research Consultant University of
Bathf.fox_at_bath.ac.uk
2
Introduction
  • Aim Practical guide to using online focus
    groups (OFGs)
  • Background Rationale
  • Process What, why how
  • Reflections What I learnt

3
Aim to explore the experiences of young people
with chronic skin conditions
Why wont young people take part in focus groups?
Centre for Appearance Research
4
Challenges of face to face Focus Groups
  • Time
  • Transport
  • Confidence
  • Appearance
  • (Ginsburg Link,1989 Wahl, Gjengedal,
    Hanestad, 2002)

5
Aim to explore the experiences of young people
with chronic skin conditions
What are the alternatives?
Why wont young people take part in focus groups?
Centre for Appearance Research
6
Background Online Focus Groups as an alternative?
  • Online focus groups
  • Majority of published studies used asynchronous
    groups (Gaiser 1997 Robson 1999 Ward 1999)
  • Less synchronous groups reported but are
    characterised by dynamism and immediacy
    (Stewart et al 1998 OConnor Madge 2003
    Williams 2003)
  • Early study explores health perceptions of
    tobacco use across two cultures (Stewart et al
    1998)

7
Aim to explore the experiences of young people
with chronic skin conditions
What are the alternatives?
Why wont young people take part in focus groups?
Centre for Appearance Research
Explored literature
8
Will young people take part in OFGs?
  • Popularity of internet an important social
    domain and a powerful communication tool
    (Pastore, 2002)
  • Interest Opportunity to participate online may
    heighten interest (Tse 1999)
  • Convenience Home access is growing 75 of 9-19
    year olds accessed internet from a computer at
    home
  • Population biases are declining as access
    increases (Selwyn and Robson 1998) but
    exclusivity should still be considered
  • Confidence to take part from own home.
    Perception of anonymity
  • .

9
Aim to explore the experiences of young people
with chronic skin conditions
What are the alternatives?
Why wont young people take part in focus groups?
Centre for Appearance Research
Tried out online focus groups
Explored literature
10
Participants recruitment
  • Participants
  • 7 x online focus groups 3 participants in each
  • 11-18 year olds with psoriasis or vitiligo for 12
    months
  • Recruitment
  • Skin Organizations advertised study on web sites
    with direct link to my research web site
  • Young people read information about study
  • Registration and consent page
  • Provide parents email address
  • I contact them by email with
  • - Time date for OFG
  • - link to online forum
  • - unique user name password

11
Teen Skin website
12
Online forum
  • Web site online forum hosted by University
  • Environment
  • Welcome page ground rules
  • De-brief page with links
  • Free of distraction
  • University logo
  • Password protected
  • Piloted with students supervisors

13
(No Transcript)
14
Real time focus groups
  • in the real time chat of an online focus group,
  • the distinction between replying and sending
    becomes blurred as the interactivity defies
    conversational turn-taking
  • (Mann Stewart 2000 p.102)

15
Considerations for the Moderator
  • Decoding synchronous communication
  • lol
  • brb
  • ikr
  • Understanding emoticons
  • )
  • (
  • )

16
Lou my exams r dun yipeeeee!!! Bee yay!!
Hehe Lou D Sara wow go Lou lol Lou lol Sara u
can enjoy ur hols lol Bee gd 4 u) Bee still
got 3 2 go till im donew Lou yeh will do!
Lol Sara never mind S Bee !!!!
17
Considerations for the Moderator
  • Number of participants
  • Typing speed the dominant talker
  • Overlapping conversations
  • Delayed responses
  • Silences how long is too long?

18
  • Moderator How important is your skin in terms of
    your appearance or the way that you look?
  • Jo i would definately say that finding other ppl
    with it helps!
  • Mark err obviously its never as gd as a level as
    wen i used treatment btu i feel that iv just
    got used to it, o well i do use that horrible
    smelling shampoo i forgot bout that i have used
    it for soo long
  • Ella my mum was great wen i was worried about it
    showing on her wedding day but she just said
    she didnt care cos it was part of me!
  • Jo skin is everythign for teenagers! evetyone is
    conscious
  • Mark errr a lot definately it has knocked my
    confidence on my appearance
  • Ella yeah i'm concious but most people i know
    know about it
  • Jo i hate it on my face because everyone can
    see! ur skin is the thing that everyone sees
    and you cant change it!
  • Ella i get worried if it starts spreading to
    places that u c everyday
  • Ella like ur face wen its at the front of my
    scalp
  • Jo yep ! definately - you always feel conscious
    and if i c sium1 looking at me i immedaitely
    think its about my skin!
  • Jo yep! i get it round the side but luckily its
    under hand at the mo due to yucky sticky cream
    lol )
  • Mark yeah i agree wen i had a really bad patch
    where it was all over my hands and face i was
    really down about it, i agree el i get that
    feeling

19
Peer Support
  • Group cohesion talked about us and them
  • Probed each other and offered support
  • Social differences, gender, age, status did not
    seem to be a problem

20
Hannah yeah I see people looking and some
people obviously are thinking im glad I dont
have that Tania that wot I tink but my mum
always says its just Me! Lol! Nicole but its
not r fault Tania nope Hannah i think easy for
them to say Tania they arent intelligent enuf
to no that though! Tania yeah they dont reli
understand properly Nicole But its not wot we
luk like its wots inside Hannah yeah thats
exactly wot my mum says but its a bit obvious
when someone is blatantly staring Tania especi
ally on skool trips and ur in the bathroom for
ages doing cream Tania yeah but ppl are so
shallow Tania like the plastics at my
skool! Hannah I go to an all girls school and
theres a lot of bitchyness
21
Considerations
  • Participants cant get online / connection drops
  • Participants forget to join send reminders
  • Time zones complicate arrangements
  • Cross cultural differences
  • brb - Participants leave the computer
  • Privacy? May be other people in the room

22
Ethical Considerations
  • Digital Divide / equity of access /
    socio-economic differences
  • 88 of middle class children have accessed the
    internet at home
  • 61 of working class children have accessed the
    internet at home (Livingstone Bober 2005)
  • 1 in 5 of the young people Catch22 works with has
    no access to the internet (Catch22, 2010)
  • Reasonable technical competence required
  • Consent process
  • Confidentiality
  • Distress

23
Reasons for doing FGs online
  • Convenience Young people may be unable or
    unwilling to travel
  • Interest synchronous online communication is
    popular with young people the opportunity to
    participate online may heighten interest (Tse
    1999)
  • Confidence Young people with appearance related
    concerns may lack confidence to meet new people
    (Wahl et al 2002)
  • Anonymity increases sense of control may
    enhance disclosure (Suzuki Calzo 2004 Joinson
    2001). Participation may be a more pleasant
    experience for young people.

24
Conclusion
  • Research OFGs can
  • Provide alternative domain for focus groups
  • address power dynamics
  • encourage participation
  • facilitate dynamic communication
  • benefits of reduced cost increased speed
  • Beyond research situation OFGs may
  • Facilitate networks of peer support
  • Inclusive for groups with appearance / health
    related concerns which impede social functioning

25
References
  • Catch 22 (2010).Young people and the digital
    divide. Catch 22 Policy Research
  • Gaiser, T (1997). Conducting online focus groups
    a methodological discussion. Social Science
    Computer Review, 15 (2), 135-144
  • Ginsburg, J.H, Link, B.G (1989). Feelings of
    stigmatisation in patients with psoriasis.
    Journal of American Academy in Dermatology, 20,
    53-63
  • Joinson A.N (2001) Self-disclosure in
    computer-mediated communication the role of self
    awareness and visual anonymity. European Journal
    of Social Psychology. 31, 177-92
  • Livingstone, S Bober, M (April 2005) UK
    Children Go Online. Final report of key project
    findings. ESRC
  • OConnor, H Madge, C (2003) Focus Groups in
    cyberspace Using the internet for qualitative
    research. Qualitative Market Research An
    International Journal, 6(2), 133-143
  • Robson, K (1999). Employment Experiences of
    Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns Disease Sufferers,
    Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Wales,
    Cardiff
  • Selwyn, N Robson, K (1998). Using email as a
    research tool. Social Research Update, 21.
    http//www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/sru/sru21.html
  • Stewart, F., Eckerman, E Zhou, K (1998). Using
    the internet in qualitative public health
    research A comparison of Chinese and Australian
    Young Womens perceptions of tobacco use.
    Internet Journal of Health Promotion, URL,
    http//www.monash.edu.au/health/IJHP/1998/12
  • Suzuki, L.K Calzo, J.P (2004) The search for
    peer advice in cyberspace An examination of
    online teen bulletin boards about health and
    sexuality. Journal of Applied Developmental
    Psychology, 25. (6) 685-698.
  • Tse, A.C.B (1999) Conducting electronic focus
    group discussions among Chinese respondents.
    Journal of the Market Research Society,
    41(407-415)
  • Wahl, A.K., Gjengedal, E., Hanestad, B.R (2002).
    The bodily suffering of living with severe
    psoriasis In-depth interviews with 22
    hospitalised patients with psoriasis. Qualitative
    Health Research, 12(2), 250 - 261
  • Ward, K.J (1999). The cyber-ethnographic
    (re)construction of two feminist online
    communities. Sociological Research Online, 4(1)
    available at www.socresonline.org.uk/socresonline
    /4/1/ward.html
  • Williams, M (2003) Virtually Criminal Deviance
    and Harm within Online Environments. Unpublished
    PhD Thesis, University of Wales, Cardiff.

26
Contact
  • For more information please contact
  • Fiona Fox
  • f.fox_at_bath.ac.uk
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