From September, 2011

Lessons from My First Focus Group

By Ksenia Varlyguina, MPH ’12 in Population and Family Health I didn’t sleep well the night before. It felt like Christmas. Three times I had gone over the focus group guide with my local version of Linda Cushman (She’s the Mailman School’s qualitative research guru, and winner of several teaching awards). We were playing with the order of the questions, the wording, the probes. Key stakeholders had reviewed the guide, suggested edits, reworded questions. I reviewed my Research Design and Data Collection class notes. The table was set with pencils, paper, and name tags. I had my consent forms, focus group guide, and pen. The two…

Putting What I Learned Into Action

By Molly Lopez, MPH ’12 in Population and Family Health I needed to learn more about the Dominican culture to best design an effective questionnaire and materials to promote healthier lifestyles. The tour of the food market helped me to recognize local foods and dishes, such as la bandera Dominicana (the Dominican flag) a staple meal made of rice, beans and meat; pollo guisado, a stew-like chicken dish; and mangu, mashed plantains. I heard these and other common food terms used daily. They were frequent answers to patient questionnaires that a medical intern and I administered in the family consult waiting…