Focus Groups Q&A’s

Thinking about taking part in the study? Here are a few questions which you may be asking yourself before you decide…

Why is it important for me to get involved in a focus group?

Developing messages which are acceptable, appropriate and relevant to community members is absolutely crucial for the project’s success. In order to help develop the right kind of health promotion text messages, we need to explore the views, priorities and experiences of African community members around health issues generally and around HIV in particular. By taking part in this project you will be contributing to cutting edge research which will potentially benefit members of the local and wider community.

What is a focus group like?

The focus groups will last about an hour and have 6-12 people in them to ensure that we get a range of views and a lively debate. There will also be a facilitator who will start off the discussion and make sure that everyone has an opportunity to share their views.
Food and refreshments will be provided and we will also reimburse any travel costs and provide you with £10 to acknowledge your time. A crèche facility will be available, so do feel free to bring your children along. We are holding a number of focus groups to give different sections of the African community an opportunity to contribute to the project.

When and where are the focus groups held?


What happens if I change my mind and want to leave?

It is completely up to you to decide whether or not to take part in this study. If you do decide to take part, you will be asked to sign a consent form before the group discussion starts. However, you are free to withdraw from the study at any time and without giving a reason.

What will happen to the results of this research study?

The discussion will be recorded and the research team will use the group’s anonymised views to help inform the design of the text messaging intervention. The content of the discussion will be treated with the utmost confidence. At the end of the project, the research team hopes to share the main findings with other health promotion practitioners and researchers in order to benefit the wider African community. However, all data will be presented in a completely anonymised format, so it will not be possible to identify individuals who have taken part in the study.

I want to take part – what do I need to do?

Please download the Project Information Sheet (PDF), which provides more information on the background of the study, including sources of funding and ethical approval. If you still have questions about the project after reading the Information Sheet, please contact the following members of the research team:

For questions about when and where the focus group discussions will be held and how to take part:
Mr Amdani Juma
African Institute for Social Development
t: +44 (0)7572 604 343

For general questions about the research, include its background, design and how data will be handled:
Katie Turner
Research Associate on the Health 4 U Project