Using Focus Groups to Develop a Text Message- Based Nutrition Education Program Katherine E. Speirs (email@example.com) Stephanie K. Grutzmacher (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ashley Munger (email@example.com)University of Maryland School of Public Health &University of Maryland Extension 2012 Priester National Extension Health Conference April 10-12 Washington D.C.
Focus Groups• Purpose: to explore opinions, thoughts and feelings about an issue, program, product, or idea.• Group interview• Interactions between participants• Can be used at multiple stages of program planning • Needs assessment • Program development and refinement • Evaluation
Logistics• Recruitment • Purposive sampling • 6 – 10 participants • Incentives • Multiple groups• Interview Guide • Degree of structure depends on purpose • Open-ended questions • What makes this poster interesting? Vs. Is this poster interesting?
Logistics• Moderating • Keep discussion on topic while encouraging participants to interact freely • Make participants feel comfortable• Space • Convenient and familiar for participants • Set-up for participant interaction (e.g., participants can see each other) • Set-up to allow for audio or video recording
Benefits• Flexible• Efficient• Emphasizes group interaction• May capture the complexity of everyday life
Text2BHealthy• Text message-based nutrition education and physical activity promotion program• Parents are sent 2-3 messages a week• Evaluation • Pre and post-test paper surveys • Questions sent via text message
Participants• 3 focus groups (between 5 and 10 participants in each group)• Low-income mothers• Recruited through existing FSNE classes
QuestionsProgram Design• Feasibility of using text messages with low-income parents• Frequency of messages• Language for text messages• Marketing materialsEvaluation• Survey length, layout, and content
Which texting style do you likebetter?1. Strawberries sale @ Giant 2moro2. Strawberries are on sale at Giant tomorrowFollow up questions: Why do you prefer the onethat you selected?Is there anything that is hard to understandabout either message?
What did we learn?How did we use what we learned?
Program Design• Text-isms (LOL, ttyl)• Multiple cell phones• Familiarity with text message programs
Evaluation• Reduce or eliminate skip patterns• Restart numbering at the beginning of each section• Shorten the survey• Use color printing for photographs
AcknowledgementsThis project was funded by USDAs SupplementalNutrition Assistance Program in cooperation with theMaryland Department of Human Resources and theUniversity of Maryland.We would also like to thank the parents whoparticipated in our focus groups, the FSNE educatorswho helped us recruit our participants, and JessicaDiBari for her comments on this presentation.