Focus Groups

The focus group (FG) is a qualitative research method that allows generating a social interaction created during the group discussion, as this suppose an effective reproduction of the process through which people form their own opinion.

A moderator led the discussion and an observer/assistant of the moderator was in charge of taking notes, recording the sessions and was there to observe the non-verbal behaviour of the participants of the group, as well as the atmosphere generated during the discussions.

For the purposes of the INV project, a question grid to guide the discussion was followed in order to generate common discussions that allowedone to make a comparison between different focus groups and countries. This question grid was adapted to each language, and adapted to the course of the discussion, with a certain flexibility. This report follows the same structure as this question grid, in order to facilitate speech analysis.

5 topics were discussed in the FG, these were the followings:

  • Person with Severe Down Syndrome (PSD)
  • Relation between PSD and the social professional
  • The limits within the relationship
  • Taking care of people with PSD
  • Work with people with Severe Down Syndrome

An observation grid to register non-verbal behaviours of participants was followed in order to collect all the elements that the recorder could not register: the nonverbal behavioursuch as gestures, posture,special looks, etc.

Within the INV project framework FG aimed to "define the essential" by involving professionals working with people with severe intellectualdisabilities (SID). FGs were organised by all partners, in order to learn about the relationship between people with SID and the professionals who take care of them, and to provide basis, which originates from practice for the INV pedagogical and training models, to be developed and tested at a later stage of the project. The results of these focus groups have enabled the pedagogical and training models to be accurately tailored to the real needs of these professionals. The general FG tools were adapted to the topics of the INV model: the seriously disabled persons, their assistants and carers as well as the relationship between assistants and the intellectually disabled persons.

The INV Project-specific tools, i.e. the Guidelines for conducting FGs, the profile of the moderator, the question grid and the observation grid are introduced under the Tools menupoint.

The main product of the focus group is the FG Report: Define the essential.

Report of the national focus groups can be found under "National focus groups" and in the Italian, Spanish and Hungarian language sections.