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Participant in a focus group

Survey participant

Participant in a
focus group

Participant of
the cohort

Participant in a focus group

Who is it aimed at?

The focus groups are aimed at people over 18 years of age who live in Quito (Quito Sur) and Esmeraldas (Eloy Alfaro) and who agree to participate voluntarily and consciously.

These focus groups will be held in order to find out their opinion and that of their community on the different topics to be discussed. There are 3 rounds during the project and in each round a different topic will be discussed. In the first round, policy actions that can be developed at local and community level to increase physical activity and improve diet quality will be discussed. The second round will focus on the discussion of current diabetes care and the third and final round will focus on perceived improvements in healthcare and changes that have occurred during the course of this research.

Several focus groups will be conducted face-to-face or by telephone and will consist of between 4 and 8 gender-balanced participants.

Some groups will consist of diabetic patients and family members as well as community members, including community leaders and volunteer health promoters. Duration of disease, presence of comorbidities, glycaemic control, quality of life and diabetes-related complications will be considered.

Other groups will consist of health workers from different backgrounds including doctors, nurses, primary health care technicians from different types of health centres, and decision-makers such as local district authorities, health-related NGOs or multilateral organisations working in the area.

And the last groups will be made up of participants from all carefully chosen groups and probably also include food producers and manufacturers.

What do the two parts of this phase of the project consist of?

In this phase of the project, the researchers of the team will facilitate the discussions in a non-directed way in order to know the opinion and experience of the participants on the different topics to be discussed in each group.

In discussion groups, the results obtained from the population-based survey (prevalence, distribution of diabetes, risk factors for non-communicable diseases, hypertension and obesity) will be presented in order to share an updated epidemiological profile of the district in terms of morbidity and risk of diabetes. The policies prioritised following the previous review work carried out by the research team will also be presented.

In other groups, the results of an analysis of the care received by people with diabetes living in the district will be presented and discussed in order to identify weaknesses or strengths of the existing diabetes health system.

The facilitator of each group will lead the discussion to explain why these weaknesses or strengths exist, what challenges stakeholders face, and how the evidence-based recommendations could be implemented. Participants will be encouraged to suggest potential solutions. Specifically, in groups that include diabetes patients and family members, perceived or experienced problems in accessing or using services will also be discussed.

And in the latter groups, discussion will focus on perceived improvements in healthcare and the success or failure of any changes in the organisation of healthcare that have occurred in the course of the research. Prior to the start of the discussions, a new analysis of the care received by people with diabetes living in the district will be presented.

What information do you need to take into account beforehand?

What will be done with the information collected in the study?

All focus group discussions will be audio-recorded and transcribed. The recordings will be stored digitally with optimal security measures to ensure data security, and only the research team will have access to them for analysis. The participants’ data will be anonymised and processed in Spain and the data will be analysed as a whole.

Are there any benefits associated with my participation?

Participation in the focus groups will not have any direct benefit on the participants, but will help in the development of public health actions that benefit the health and prevention of diabetes in people in the community.

Are there any risks associated with my participation?

In this case, the risks are related to the feeling of unease or anxiety that may be experienced during conversations. This may occur when discussing stress-related situations and the problems that cause stress. If participants feel any uneasiness or discomfort about a question or situation, they can stop participating in the session or withdraw their story without having to give excuses or explanations to the researchers and without any consequences for the person.

What measures will be taken to maintain my confidentiality?

The audio recordings will be stored digitally, with optimal security measures to ensure data security, and only the research team will have access to them for analysis. The data of the participants will be anonymised.  The recordings will be destroyed five years after the end of the study, as they will be used to support the publication of the results of the project.

What happens if I change my mind and do not want to participate once I have been accepted?

Participation is voluntary, so you can decide to take part in the discussion group at any time without any consequences. The medical care provided or to be provided to you or, if applicable, your family member, will not be affected in any way. The data collected from the recordings by the research team will be deleted and may not be used for any other purpose. Furthermore, their removal shall not give rise to any right to compensation for either party.

Why should you sign an informed consent form and how important is it?

Prior to their participation in the research, all participants in the focus groups must have read, understood and signed the informed consent forms, so that they are aware of what the focus groups consist of, their objectives, their duration, as well as their potential risks/discomforts and benefits. They will also be informed about their rights to opt-in and opt-out of the study at any time and about the confidentiality and handling of their data.