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A Global Response to Elder Abuse - page 25 / 149





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2.3 Research design and methodology

In order to obtain information on specific issues that may vary from one geographical setting to another, focus groups were se- lected as a method because of their ability to explore beliefs, attitudes and behaviours in a target group. Furthermore, people usually feel comfortable in a focus group discussion because it is a form of commu- nication found naturally in most communi- ties (Hudelson, 1994).

Participants were asked to express their opinions about whether the proposed ques- tions are appropriate, relevant and under- standable. Based on these findings, training modules, identification methods and inter- vention strategies can then be developed or adapted according to local conditions.

  • e eight participating countries

(Australia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Kenya, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland) were engaged through professional links from WHO and identified according to the fol- lowing parameters:

  • Possibility of collaboration with a local coordinator and a focus group/work- shop facilitator.

  • Participating countries should cover a wide range of regions. In this case, Africa, South America, Central America, Europe, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific Region were includ- ed.

  • Follow-up mechanisms should be in place to provide information on local support and service networks in case a piloting phase in clinical settings would follow the qualitative research.

  • e research design included the conduct

of seven focus groups in each country to test the bank of 12 questions that led to the EASI. e groups were split as follows:

  • • 

    ree groups of older people, broken down further into one group of older women only, one group of older men only, and one group of both older men and women.

  • Four groups of PHC professionals.

Each group ideally consisted of six to nine people. e two-hour focus group sessions were tape-recorded, transcribed and ana- lysed, and the findings from each country were summed up in a report.

Furthermore, workshops were organized to test the general reaction of social work- ers towards the concept of the SWEF and to gather general information on issues of elder abuse, such as local assessment and intervention strategies and culturally spe- cific categories of elder abuse.

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