There has been an upsurge of academic interest in using focus groups (FGs) as a main or stand-alone qualitative method. In this article, the authors introduce a recently developed ancillary method to FGs called interviewing the moderator. The method is employed immediately after an FG and consists of a one-on-one interview with the FG moderator by another member of the research team. The authors argue, with reference to a specific study, that interviewing the moderator adds a new and valuable dimension to group interviews used in research. They describe how this method came about and provide a concrete example of its use in a recently completed research project. They discuss several advantages of the interview, among them that it provides information about group interaction and participant behavior, and furnishes additional data on what is discussed when the tape recorder is turned off.
Knowledge diffusion and utilization (KDU) have become a key focus in the health research community because of the limited success to date of research findings to inform health policies, programs and services. Yet, evidence indicates that successful KDU is often predicated on the early involvement of potential knowledge users in the conceptualization and conduct of the research and on the development of a "partnership culture". This study describes the integration of KDU theory with practice via a case study analysis of the Consortium for Applied Research and Evaluation in Mental Health (CAREMH).
This qualitative study, using a single-case design, included a number of data sources: proposals, meeting minutes, presentations, publications, reports and curricula vitae of CAREMH members.
CAREMH has adopted the following operational strategies to increase KDU capacity: 1) viewing research as a means and not as an end; 2) bringing the university and researcher to the community; 3) using participatory research methods; 4) embracing transdisciplinary research and interactions; and 5) using connectors. Examples of the iterative process between researchers and potential knowledge users in their contribution to knowledge generation, diffusion and utilization are provided.
This case study supports the importance of early and ongoing involvement of relevant potential knowledge users in research to enhance its utilization potential. It also highlights the need for re-thinking research funding approaches.
Variability matters: towards a perspective on the influence of precipitation on terrestrial ecosystems. Effects of precipitation change on ecosystems (EPRECOT)--a Terrestrial Ecosystem Response to Atmospheric and Climatic Change (TERACC) and European Commission sponsored precipitation workshop, Elsinore, Denmark, May 2006.
The relative survival rate is defined as the ratio of the survival rate observed in a patient group under consideration to the survival rate expected in a group of people similar to the patient group at the beginning of the follow-up interval, with respect to all possible factors (e.g., age and sex) affecting survival, except the disease under study. Survival from cancer and other chronic diseases is often measured by this quantity, which is adjusted for the effect of mortality attributable to competing risks of death. In this paper, maximum likelihood ratio tests are constructed on the basis of aggregated data for testing the equality of relative survival rates between patient groups against proportional hazards and general alternative hypotheses. The tests are applied to the Finnish nationwide data on colon cancer patients with nonlocalized tumors as reported to the Finnish Cancer Registry. Simulation studies show that the maximum likelihood ratio tests compare favorably with alternative methods proposed earlier. Moreover, the maximum likelihood ratio tests are more extensive in coverage and are based on more applicable alternative hypotheses than the other test statistics. Finally, an extension to proportional hazards regression models of the relative survival rates is suggested.