A few of our Success Stories from satisfied customers...
Senior Project Director...
I have found the focus group software and extended group software to be very useful. My clients like it to because they become so involved in the project. It's easy to set up and for respondents to use. I love the capability to use a preformatted script but still be able to use impromptu questions. Also, I had some input when it was being beta tested. I have moderated traditional groups for years and I think having an experienced moderator helped them come up with a superior program. I've looked at some others that had sound and video. They were very expensive or only available as services on another server. With InterQue you can own your own program and place your own logo on it.
Sally has been great to work with. I had a lot of questions when I first started using the project and she gave me great training support.
I know purchasing software can be difficult. There are so many choices and usually several people in the process. I used to be the Jr. VP of Marketing Research and Product Development at INTRUST Bank, in Wichita . Sometimes it took several attempts for me to get software approved for purchase. Now I have to be more concerned with the price of software because I'm a one man L.L.C. The InterQue product paid for itself in a couple of projects.Fritz Robinson
Nursing Doctorate Candidate....
Working with Crusader Services was SO easy! I reached out to Sally Hooper when I decided to employ online synchronous groups for my dissertation…and she made it feasible and fun. She listened to all my needs as a doctoral student and worked hard to meet every request in a timely manner. For example, the company created an anonymity feature for the focus groups, so each participant would receive a randomly assigned numeric code after completing a demographic survey. The ability to have all transcripts anonymous and confidential was an important feature in my work and helped seal the deal with my Institutional Review Board.
Learning how to use the software is not complicated and the ability to use the demo site as well as a practice focus group helped me to prepare for the big day when I conducted the study's groups. And if I did come across s problem, Sally and her husband were available by phone to help me problem solve. I highly recommend the use of this software product and choosing Crusader Services as a partner in any project.
Caitlin M. Stover, PhD, RN
The current issue of the journal is available electronically at ://journals.lww.com/cinjournal/pages/currenttoc.aspx . If you are a journal subscriber you can download the entire issue either as PDF files or in an e-reader compatible format (such as the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Apple iPad, or the Sony eReader).
Crusader note: We development some special programming features for this study, amng them was a method of participants executing a survey, then entering the room in complete anonymity.
Excerpts from Case Study:
The Use of Online
Groups in a Sample of
Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual
Caitlin M. Stover, PhD, RN
Dr Lillian R. Goodman Department of
Nursing, Worcester State University,
"Crusader Services (http://www.crusader-services.com) specializes in a variety of online marketing research methods, such as online surveys, focus groups, bulletin board services, Web page hosting, and Web design. Crusader Services develops, programs, and sells their own online focus group software called InterQue, which was used for this research study.
of the InterQue software package provided the following
services to the PI:
(1) Pop-up one-time message to respondents as they enter the synchronous chat room
(2) Variety of one-touch emoticons
(3) Preloaded moderator guide, probes, and thumbnail graphics
(4) Immediate download of transcripts in HTML direct to browser, plain ASCII text, or spreadsheet-ready TSV files. Transcripts included line-by-line time stamps
(5) Sorted transcripts (transcript between moderator, participants, and clients; moderator and clients; or moderator and participants)
(6) Training sessions and continual technical support for the PI
(7) Custom features (for an additional cost) to meet requirements of research study (eg, assigning random seven-digit usernames to participants who maintained anonymity and the development of a
demographic survey to aggregate sample demographics."
"A demographic survey was created by Crusader Services
and directly linked the participant from the informed
consent to the synchronous chat room. Completion of
the informed consent and demographic survey lasted
no longer than 10 minutes. Once the participant
pressed the “agree” button providing informed consent,
the participant was directed to a demographic
survey. When the demographic survey was complete,
the participant clicked on the “end survey and enter
focus group” button. At this time, the participant was
assigned a confidential software-generated Anon link
(eg, 4568715) that automatically generated a username
and password for the participant and directed him/her
into the synchronous chat room for the online focus
group to begin."Participants were asked to write down
their username and password in case they were disconnected
from the focus group and needed to log back
into the focus group. One participant accidentally
logged himself out and successfully reentered the group
using this information.
As the participants entered the synchronous room, the
assigned seven-digit usernames popped up on the computer
screen. During the conversation of the focus
groups, the last two digits of the username number were
used to address participants. For example, in the previously
used Anon example, this participant would be addressed
as 15. Participants were instructed not to reveal their real name at any time during the focus group.
The PI waited for 15 minutes after the scheduled start time of the focus group session to allow time".
"Ethical Considerations When Conducting
Online Synchronous Focus Groups
Informed consent was obtained anonymously online prior to collecting demographic information and initiating the focus group. There were no anticipated physical risks associated with participating in this study. However, there was the rare chance that a participant might experience distress associated with discussing sensitive personal information such as sexual orientation and past healthcare experiences. The PI is an RN with a mental health counseling background. In the event that a participan began to feel distressed, he/she would have been able to access the private messaging window and contact the PI for assistance. In the event that a participants’ use of emoticons demonstrated istress, the PI was prepared to initiate this private messaging window and assess the participants' situation. A licensed mental health clinician was available by phone for consultation either verbally or via text message during each focus group in the event that a participant became distressed. In addition, the synchronous chat room had a “whiteboard” feature that allowed the PI to post the contact information for the local emergency room, which provided 24-hour mental health assistance. No individual tipends were offered to participants who agreed to participate in this study. At the conclusion of the demographic survey, there was a list of three LGB community-based organizations. Participants were asked to select the organization to receive an anonymous $15 donation. When the emographic data were populated, the PI received an accurate count of how many participants in each group hose a specific community organization for donation."
BENEFITS OF ONLINE SYNCHRONOUS
There are several benefits to the researcher conducting online synchronous focus groups. First, transcription of qualitative data was made available to the PI immediately upon completion of the focus group. Transcripts were printed out immediately, which was both time- and cost-effective ecause it was not necessary to selftranscribe or hire a transcriptionist for audio tapes. Second, the ability to maintain a confidential and anonymous environment for participants to discuss 398 CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing • August 2012 Copyright © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited. their sexual orientation and healthcare experiences related to their sexual orientation was crucial in providing vital information to the research team who aimed to create a mechanism of action to facilitate positive healthcare experiences in this community. Many participants commented that these conversations may not
have occurred in an FtF environment. Finally, the use of technology in this research study was of great interest to this LGB college student population. The ability to use the Internet, participate in online synchronous chat, and use computer skills sparked the interest of many potential participants. Many participants reported that their agreement to participate in this study was highly influenced by the fact that the research was conducted on the computer. This fact may have sped up the time required to recruit potential participants.
The profession of nursing has embraced the new technology and informatics featured at the patient bedside. Nurse researchers need to understand that there are innovative research methods, such as synchronous online focus groups, that can be tailored to their study that promote optimal data gathering and evidence development. At the time of this dissertation research study, studies conducted by nurse researchers using online synchronous focus groups were unable to be located. It was the goal of this article to encourage researchers to explore the feasibility of online synchronous focus groups in their program of research and provide several helpful tips for a smooth execution of study methods.
The author would like to thank Meghan Johnson and Patrick Hare for their contribution as key informants as well as the dissertation committee composed of Drs Carol Bova, Anne Kane, and Kris Fennie. The author would also like to thank Sally Hooper from Crusader Services for assisting with the implementation of the online focus groups. This dissertation study funded in part by the Iota-Phi
Chapter-at-Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honors Society. The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article."