In designing a research project, researchers may consider a focus group to be the best way to collect data from multiple participants in a short period of time. When implementing focus groups, please inform participants of the topics to be discussed, the risks and benefits of participation, as well as the nature and form in which data is collected and confidentiality is maintained. Below are more specific instructions on how to implement focus groups to ensure compliance with human research. Examples of consent forms can be found on our consent form presentation page. Information from participants: Participants should be informed of the topics that will be discussed and who will participate in the focus group so that they can make an informed decision beforehand. This is particularly important for research, which deals with sensitive topics and is considered more than minimal risk. Please note the types of evaluations to determine the risks to your specific research project. Risks and confidentiality: The nature of a focus group is such that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Researchers should provide participants with the necessary procedures to keep research data confidential and inform participants that they will not repeat what is said in the focus group. For research with minimal risk, simply add an informed consent paragraph that details confidentiality issues for focus groups. Audio and video recordings: Participants should be informed of the question of whether the session will be an audio or video recording before the focus group.
Participants should also be informed of what will happen to these recordings. If audio or video of the focus groups is used for anything other than data analysis for the approved protocol (i.e., future research studies, educational purposes, conference presentations, etc.), participants must give explicit consent in the form of a coercage box that accepts or does not accept the use of video/audio for the purposes mentioned above in the consent form. An example of use can be included in the consent form on our consent form presentation page. More information about audio, video and digital recordings can be found in our policies. Read the types of audits again to determine the level of risk for your specific research project. You will find examples of approval forms on our Paragraph Approval Form page, which must be included in focus Group Informed Consent: For higher education at minimum risk, it may be necessary to include a non-disclosure statement that participants would accept.