This article describes an approach to needs assessment in a specific location using both focus group interviews and a written questionnaire. In this case study, the target population consists of parents of asthmatic children (0-4 years of age). Six focus group interviews were conducted with the purpose of discussing parents' experiences with health care for asthma, their beliefs and knowledge of general aspects of asthma, medication and preventive actions. As a supplement, parents completed a written questionnaire providing additional quantitative information on parental knowledge and misconceptions. Results indicated that parental knowledge of asthma in general was not adequate, especially with respect to medication, preceding signs and preventive activities. Important misconceptions, which might contribute to noncompliance with self-management behaviors, were revealed during discussions with the parents. Several differences were found between results of the interviews and the questionnaire, for instance regarding parental knowledge about preventive measures, medication and perceived parental satisfaction with health care for asthma. These differences indicate the value of using both a survey and a focus group.
- Focus group interview