A community-academic partnership
committed to fostering health 
equity in Detroit since 2000

Focus Groups

Stress Process and Health (2001)

Over the summer of 2001, we conducted eight discussion groups with Detroit residents focussed on stress. In order to understand the variety of ways people experience and deal with stress, focus groups were held in three different Detroit communities, and there were separate groups for men and women of different ethnic backgrounds. The purpose of the groups was to gather information about the particular kinds of things that stress people that live in Detroit, how they respond to stress, how they think it affects their health and how they cope with stress. The information from these focus groups was used to guide questions included in the Wave I community survey (2002-2003) and are described in the article, Engaging Urban Residents in Assessing Neighborhood Environments and Their Implications for Health.

Funding for these focus groups was provided by National Institute of Environmental Health Science R01 ES 10936 [SPEHD]

Physical Activity and Food Environments (2006)

In 2006 we conducted a series of eight focus groups with Detroit residents to better understand ways that neighborhoods can impact physical activity, the foods eaten by community residents, and other factors associated with risk for heart disease. Two focus groups were conducted on eastside Detroit, two in northwest Detroit, and four in southwest Detroit (two of the southwest focus groups were conducted in English and two in Spanish). Each of the focus groups was approximately one and a half hours in duration and had between six and 12 participants. Participants were asked to discuss the places that community residents use for various kinds of physical activities in and around their neighborhoods, and the kinds of food people have available to them in their neighborhoods. They were asked in particular about their thoughts on new paved trails or pathways that are being developed in several Detroit neighborhoods to provide new spaces for physical activity among neighborhood residents.

Findings from these focus groups were used in Greenway reports that analyzed the Greenways in eastside, northwest and southwest Detroit and in working with community residents and organizations to develop interventions to promote physical activity in Detroit neighborhoods. Finally, results from these focus groups are being used in collaboration with community based organizations, community residents and others to identify changes in the built environment (trails, pathways, parks, etc.) that encourage residents to be more physically active and to develop other community level strategies to improve heart health for residents in eastside, northwest, and southwest Detroit.

Funding for these walking groups was provided by NIEHS R01 14234 and NCMHD R24 MD001619.


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