Using the internet to gather evidence in formative intervention research: A feasibility study of internet "chat" focus groups in a study of lifestyle changes in colon cancer survivors

Andrea Meier, Marci K. Campbell, Carol Carr, Zoe Enga, Aimee James, Jill Reedy, Bo Zheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

With widespread adoption of the Internet, focus groups can now be conducted using Internet-mediated (IM) "chat" group technology. However, the methodology used for face-to-face groups must be adapted to this new communication medium. This paper presents a case study that describes feasibility issues of the IM "chat" focus groups, which arose when they were used to collect formative data for the NC STRIDES (STRategies for Improving Diet, Exercise, and Screening) project. This population-based study used the focus group to develop tailored and interactive health communication strategies to reduce the risk of recurrence of colon cancer. In this paper, we describe: (a) the characteristics of IM chat communication, (b) technical implementation of the NC STRIDES "chat" focus groups, (c) methodological considerations, (d) chat focus group formation and management, and (e) participants' satisfaction with their chat focus group experiences. Finally, we offer suggestions for best practice in the use of chat focus groups in health behaviour and social work research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Technology and Evidence-Based Social Work Practice
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages183-200
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780203051795
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Colon cancer survivors
  • Focus groups
  • Health promoting lifestyles
  • Internet "chat" groups
  • Research feasibility

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    Meier, A., Campbell, M. K., Carr, C., Enga, Z., James, A., Reedy, J., & Zheng, B. (2013). Using the internet to gather evidence in formative intervention research: A feasibility study of internet "chat" focus groups in a study of lifestyle changes in colon cancer survivors. In Information Technology and Evidence-Based Social Work Practice (pp. 183-200). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.1300/J394v03n03_13