Combining visual methods with focus groups: An innovative approach for capturing the multifaceted and complex work experiences of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevention specialists
Job, J., Poth, C., Pei, J., Wyper, K., Teresa, O., & Taylor, L. (2014). Combining visual methods with focus groups: An innovative approach for capturing the multifaceted and complex work experiences of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevention specialists. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 3(1), 71-80. doi:10.7895/ijadr.v3i1.129
Aims: This paper discusses the untapped potential of an innovative methodological approach for capturing the experiences of prevention specialists working with women at risk of drug and/or alcohol-exposed pregnancies and live births. Allowing frontline workers to express their personal and professional experiences through a creative activity enhanced our understanding of the difficult-to-measure programming outcomes of a provincial Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) strategy.
Design: A multi-method design integrating focus groups with a quilting activity.
Setting: Annual General Meeting of the Parent and Child Assistance Program (PCAP)—a prevention program for women at risk for drug and/or alcohol-exposed pregnancies and live births.
Participants: Forty-seven FASD prevention specialists from across Alberta, Canada.
Measurements: Triangulation across data sources: seven focus groups and 49 quilting pieces.
Results: Thematic analysis revealed four themes: change as a process, client-advocate connection, ecological understanding, and evidence-based practice. The findings from this study contribute improved understanding about the significance of relationships, reflection, and research in the work of FASD prevention specialists.
Conclusions: A multi-methods approach (focus groups with a quilting activity) provided an appropriate and trustworthy means of accessing the prevention specialists’ programmatic experience; that experience has the strong potential for informing future FASD policy, strategic planning, and programming.
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