Health Behavior Changes after Colon Cancer: A Comparison of Findings from Face-to-Face and On-Line Focus Groups : Family & Community Health

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Cancer Prevention and Control

Health Behavior Changes after Colon Cancer

A Comparison of Findings from Face-to-Face and On-Line Focus Groups

Campbell, Marci Kramish PhD*; Meier, Andrea PhD**; Carr, Carol MA; Enga, Zoe MPH††; James, Aimee S. PhD§; Reedy, Jill MPH§§; Zheng, Bo MS

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Family & Community Health 24(3):p 88-103, October 2001.

Abstract

This qualitative study assessed the feasibility and comparability of findings from face-to-face versus on-line chat focus groups including 12 individuals affected by colon cancer. Discussion questions focused on issues of lifestyle (nutrition and exercise), cancer screening, and treatment. Despite demographic differences, the themes that emerged from the two types of groups were similar. On-line participants generally talked more about cancer treatment and advocacy issues and used support groups more frequently. The anonymity of on-line chat groups appeared to provide a more comfortable forum for some people to discuss sensitive personal health issues. As both methods provided similar results, researchers may wish to consider circumstances in which using chat-based focus groups may provide a feasible alternative to traditional face-to-face groups.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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