Appendix E Focus group discussion guide by ltq19768

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									Appendix E
Focus group discussion guide
                               FOCUS GROUP GUIDE – STAKEHOLDERS

INTRODUCTION
The Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging has commissioned urbis keys young to conduct a
national review of tele counselling and web counselling services.

The aim of the review is to identify the range of tele and web counselling services that currently exist in
Australia, and examine how these services are perceived and used. We will also be looking atsome
particular services in detail, as well as assessing the role of tele and web counsellingservices within
Australia’s broader primary health and community infrastructure.

To date we have undertaken two major tasks. We have reviewed the literature relating to telephone and
web counselling, with the specific aim of pinpointing the advantages of each and the challenges faced
by each type of services. We are also scoping the tele and web counselling ‘landscape’ in order to draw
a picture of what services currently exist in Australia.

The next step is a series of consultations with people who provide and use tele and web counselling
services, as well with other stakeholders. These include consultations with:

    •     the managers and staff from at least 20 tele and web counselling services from around Australia

    •     90 stakeholders, including mental health service managers, psychologists, psychiatrists, health
          care planners, and people who provide services in related fields such as domestic violence or
          suicide prevention.

    •     people who use tele counselling services.

We are also conducting a total of 20 focus groups around Australia - in all capital cities and five rural
 centres. These are with consumers of tele and web counselling services (carers, friends and families),
 as well as health care providers, including general practitioners, community groups specialising in
mental health and professionals from allied areas such as social work and nursing.

This is the first national review of the sector.

Up until now there has been no analysis of how tele or web counselling services sit within the larger
health and mental health services sectors, of how the community values them, their general
effectiveness and, importantly, how they are utilized and regarded in terms of professionalism, efficacy
and quality by health and allied professionals.

Today’s discussion is with a group of people who all have opinions we value. We do not expect expert
knowledge and want to hear your views on the broad field of tele counselling services.

We have not made the assumption that you or your organisation provides any such service. If in fact
you do, we would like to hear about your service but we also want your views on the broad range of
telecounselling services.

Thank you for agreeing to take part in this review.

I’d like first to go through a few procedural matters. Names are confidential, and we will not be using
names in our research or final report. What we are interested in is your views and perceptions. For that
reason we are taping today’s discussion. This tape will be kept in our office, and remains with us.

Finally, before we start, I’d like to ask everybody to contribute to the discussion and not to all talk at
once.




J102-01    Appendix E: Focus group discussion guide
1.        Firstly, we would like to define the tele counselling services which are of particular
          interest in our review. These are those that:
          - cost little or nothing to use beyond the cost of a local call
          - operate over a large area or the whole of Australia
          - address a comprehensive range of issues (ie not specifically focused on one
          particular illness or condition)
          - go beyond simply acting as a referral agency


          What tele counselling services have you heard ofin your area? As you name them I
          will write them down on a sheet of paper.


2.        The web counselling services which are of particular interest to our review are those
          that:
          - cost little or nothing to use beyond the cost of internet access
          - offer more than static information or peer to peer discussions (eg an unsupervised
          chatroom). There should be someform of interaction with a counsellor.
          Kids Help Line is one of the services that offers web counselling. What other web
          counselling services, if any, have you heard of that fit this description?


We’d like first to deal with tele counselling, as this is something more people have been
exposed to. Just to re-emphasise, we are not looking for expert opinion but for each of
your perceptions and views on this type of service.


3.        Have you had any exposure to tele counselling? What type of exposure have you
          had - for instance, as a carer, service provider, friend of someone with? How much
          do you know about these services?


4.        Which groups of people do you think are the main users of telephone counselling
          services?
          Why do you think people call tele counselling services – that is, what kinds of
          problems and issues do these people present? Do you suppose a lot of callers only
          use tele counselling, or do you think they might also use face to face services? Why
          do you think they use tele counselling services rather than any other forms of help?


5.        What sort of help or service do you think the counsellors actually attempt to
          provide?
          To what extent do you think they provide information and referrals? What about
          befriending and listening?


J102-01    Appendix E: Focus group discussion guide
          What about actual counselling? One definition of telephone counselling is: ‘a
          service whereby a trained counsellor works with a client by telephone to enable the
          client to explore personal situations, problems or crises in a one-off or in an on-
          going longer term therapeutic relationship’.
          Do you feel that this describes the type of counselling you think is provided?


6.        In general, how do you think that tele counselling benefits the caller? In what
          situations is it most appropriate? Would you say that tele counselling services in
          Australia provide an effective mental health intervention? Why/why not?
          What evidence do you know of that supports your view?


7.        How would you compare the effectiveness of tele counselling to face-to-face
          counselling?


8.        What is your understanding of the training requirements and/or qualifications of
          telephone counsellors? Do you feel that telephone counsellors are adequately
          trained and equipped to deal with crisis situations or issues such as suicide?


9.        a) For carers, families and friends
          Have you ever referred someone to a telephone counselling service, or known of
          anyone who has? In what circumstances have you done this? Which services do
          you direct people to? How did you decide where to direct them?


          b) For people representing the care sector
          Have you or anyone in the organisation you represent ever referred someone to a
          telephone counselling service? In what circumstances would you typically do this?
          Which services do you direct people to? How do you decide where to direct them?


          Do you or does your organisation promote or publicise any tele counselling
          services? Is so, which ones, and how did you chose them? How is the promotion
          done?


          Is there a difference between who you refer people to during business hours, as
          compared with after hours? What is your after hours referral process?


10.       Do you feel there are adequate links or relationships between tele counselling
          services and the health sector in general? (for instance with hospitals, doctors,
          allied professionals such as social workers or the community sector)
          With what services would closer links be beneficial?

J102-01    Appendix E: Focus group discussion guide
11.       Do you feel that services which describe themselves as counselling services should
          be funded by the government? How do you feel about non-governmental funding of
          tele counselling services?


12.       Do you feel that tele counselling services should be regulated? If so, whose
          responsibility should it be?
          What sort of regulation might you envisage? (eg registration or accreditation)


15.       Finally, what do you think the future holds for tele counselling?


Now, I’d like to briefly have a look at web counselling. We’ll go over just a few key areas.


16.       Who do you think uses web counselling? Do they differ from the users of telephone
          counselling? What do you think are the reasons why people use web counselling?


17.       How do you think that web counselling benefits the people who use it? In what
          situations is it most appropriate? Would you say that web counselling services in
          Australia provide an effective mental health intervention ?Why/why not?
          What evidence do you know of that supports your view?


18.       Do you feel it is necessary to for web counsellors to have the same level of
          training/qualifications as telephone counsellors? Do they need specialised training?


19.       Are there any specific reasons why you might direct someone to a web counselling
          service rather than to another type of help? Why is that?


20.       Is there any difference between the form of regulation that should be applied to tele
          or to web counselling?


21.       What do you think the future holds for web counselling? Are there any new issues
          to consider? (eg questions of confidentiality, the difference between onshore and
          offshore)


22.       Are there any other issues you want to raise?


Thank you for your participation.



J102-01    Appendix E: Focus group discussion guide

								
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