Follow Up Focus Groups

The Post-Survey Plan

For the purpose of triangulation, in allowing for a cross-validating analysis of the study’s findings (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003; Litwin, 1995), focus groups have been planned to follow dissemination of the survey.

‘Any group discussion may be called a focus group as long as the researcher is actively encouraging of, and attentive to, the group interaction.’

(Kitzinger & Barbour, 1999: page 20)

The focus groups are intended to ensure that the rich and detailed qualitative responses that can be missed from open-ended survey questions (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011), are still collected for meaningful interpretation and analysis (Richards & Morse, 2012).

Due to Covid restrictions, the focus groups will be held digitally using Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and Zoom.

Five to eight participants (the number required to produce viable data (Krueger & Casey, 2014)) will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. It was agreed that those focus groups with fewer than five volunteers would not go ahead.

Two types of focus group are scheduled, 16 in total:

Family

129 parents & carers volunteered to be part of a follow up focus group during survey participation.

The WP decided that it would be easiest to organise the family focus groups by setting, allowing parents & carers to feel more comfortable & confident being lead by a familiar practitioner.

Staff

42 practitioners volunteered to be a part of a follow up focus group during survey participation.

The WP decided that a mixed-setting approach would be most beneficial in prompting a breadth & depth of discussion.

The focus group questions, for both staff & families, were produced in response to survey answers & the themes that emerged during analysis. Overlap in questions was intended to aid comparison.

Working Party members will have a hard copy of the questions to act as a prompt (Barbour, 2018): they are to be used as a flexible guide to keep the conversation on track rather than a script to stick to rigidly (Murphy, et al., 1992).

‘The moderator’s role largely involves starting a discussion thread, sharing new questions with the participants at regular intervals, and probing comments to keep the participants engaged.’

(Stewart & Shamdasani, 2017: page 51)

Each focus group will start with the following ice breaker asking participants, “What do you think the child said?” After a brief opportunity to answer, the 2nd image will be revealed in the hopes of using humour (and a relatable experience) to encourage engagement (Umaña-Taylor & Bámaca, 2004).

Meetings will aim to last half an hour and will not be audio or video recorded: instead, WP members will take notes of the conversation, anonymously. The following format for sharing discussions, as shown here when used to map out a Book Club meeting, will be suggested:

Made with Padlet

Data collected from the focus groups will undergo reflexive thematic analysis (Braun, et al., 2019) to expose coherent patterns of manifest and latent meaning (Boyatzis, 1998). The hope is, as a Working Party team, to both ‘reflect’ and ‘unpick’ reality (Braun & Clarke, 2006).

In this way, analysis will be subjective and the WP members will be viewed as a resource, or instrument, in their ability to interpret the qualitative data (Maguire & Delahunt, 2017; Starks & Brown Trinidad, 2007).

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