Listening to your audience : using focus groups to plan breast and cervical cancer public education programs
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Listening to your audience : using focus groups to plan breast and cervical cancer public education programs

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      This guidebook addresses only one of the techniques of qualitative research: the focus group interview. As you will see after reviewing the guide, there are certain limitations to the use of focus groups. You will also discover the richness of information provided through focus group research about women's attitudes and behaviors regarding breast and cervical cancer screening. The hope is that you will come away with not only a greater understanding of this qualitative research methodology, but also with a heightened sensitivity to the importance of involving your program's intended audience in its development, from conceptualization through to implementation and evaluation.

      This guide was developed primarily for staff of state health departments who are developing breast and cervical cancer public education programs with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These staff are being challenged to design programs to reach women not traditionally served by public education efforts in cancer control. These underserved groups include a diverse population of women, such as low income Native American, Hispanic, African American, and Asian American women. In addition, the needs of women who have limited or no reading skills are being addressed in these programs.

      In addition to staff of state breast and cervical cancer programs, we hope that this guide is also helpful to others who are interested in using focus groups in designing health education programs and communication efforts.

      Prepared by the AMC Cancer Research Center in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cooperative agreement no. U50/CCU806186-03.

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