Tagged Ksenia Varlyguina

Focus Groups with Women: Things Left Unsaid

By Ksenia Varlyguina, MPH ’12 in Population and Family Health I started focus groups with contraceptive users yesterday. It’s been providers-only before, gathering data in Bogotá. Women, contraceptive users, clients – whatever you call them, are completely different. Their stories get into your heart, their words are less precise, their qualms don’t fit into charts and tables. It’s draining. I had two groups today, maybe that’s why I want to crawl into bed and eat Rocky Road ice cream with potato chips. For a week. While watching bad TV. Maybe it’s because I had a million things I wanted to tell them, clarify,…

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…

My Orientation- Working with and for Women in Bogotá

By Ksenia Varlyguina, MPH ’12 in Population and Family Health One of my favorite ways to pass the time on public transportation is to look at everyone’s noses. Pick a body part in a crowded place and notice how everyone’s is similar but individual, a symphony of genetic variety. In the first week of my practicum I learned that the same is true for vaginas. I spent 49 hours observing 12 pelvic exams, 6 counseling sessions, 3 procedures, 2 Pap smears. I have a renewed reverence for vaginas. They can accomplish things no other organ can! They’re amazing. Each one’s different,…