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|TransformationalSafety.Com Focus Group Protocols|
|Written by David G Broadbent|
The main purpose of the TransformationalSafety.Com focus group is to draw upon participant’s attitudes, feelings, beliefs, experiences and reactions in a way in which would not be feasible using other methods, for example observation, one-to-one interviewing, etc. These attitudes, feelings and beliefs may be partially independent of a group or its social setting, but are more likely to be revealed via the social gathering and the interaction which being in a focus group entails.
Compared to individual interviews, which aim to obtain individual attitudes, beliefs and feelings, focus groups elicit a multiplicity of views and emotional processes within a group context. The individual interview is easier to control than a focus group in which participants may take the initiative. Compared to observation, a focus group enables the gaining of a larger amount of information in a shorter period of time. Observational methods tend to depend on waiting for things to happen. In the focus group we describe scenarios and encourage comment and belief about those scenarios.
Another key objective of the TransformationalSafety.Com focus group protocol is to delve below the surface of the safety iceberg.
During the TransformationalSafety.Com focus group protocol we raise a number of hypothetical scenarios to gauge participants views and values in regard to these key "hidden" areas.
Kitsinger1,2 argues that interaction is the crucial feature of focus groups because the interaction between participants highlights their view of the world, the language they use about an issue and their values and beliefs about a situation. Interaction also enables participants to ask questions of each other, as well as to re-evaluate and reconsider their own understandings of their specific experiences.
Another benefit is that focus groups elicit information in a way which allows researchers to find out why an issue is salient, as well as what is salient about3,4 it As a result, the gap between what people say and what they do can be better understood5. If multiple understandings and meanings are revealed by participants, multiple explanations of their behaviour and attitudes will be more readily articulated.