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.