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Panel versus novice focus groups: Reactions to content and design features of print materials

Journal of Nutrition Education
DOI: 10.1016/s0022-3182(12)80828-4
  • Design
  • Education
  • Medicine


Abstract This study describes the second of two phases of research in the formative evaluation of a nutrition education booklet. In the first phase, focus group participants provided feedback on a set of existing nutrition education materials. That feedback was used to develop content samples and design mockups that were then submitted to focus group participants in phase two. The objectives of phase two were 1) to determine whether or not the translation of reported preferences into prototypic samples and mockups was acceptable, and 2) to collect feedback that would help refine the most promising samples and mockups for inclusion in the booklet. Subjects were 28 non-pregnant, non-nursing homemakers between the ages of 20 and 50. Twenty of the subjects were sequentially assigned to one of three “novice” groups, each of which were interviewed only once. The eight remaining subjects served as a panel that was interviewed three times. Content samples and design mockups were used to stimulate focus group discussion through a special triad technique. Results provide a basis for decision-making with respect to 1) the design and content of nutrition education brochures for household food managers, and 2) the use of panels versus “novice” groups in future focus group research.

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