Stress Risk Assessment : Using Focus Groups and Interviews

Stress Risk Assessment : Using Focus Groups and Interviews

Posted by Amanda Furness

Focus groups typically involve around 8 employees, and are best facilitated by someone seen as independent by the group members. The purpose is to discuss work pressures in a semi-structured way in order to gather views about potential causes of stress. We recommend using the stress management standards categories as a ‘template’ for discussions.

Focus groups provide a richer more qualitative form of data, where people can describe their own experience in their own words. Analysing such data takes more time and skill than for surveys, so is not for the unqualified.

Advantages of Focus Groups and Interviews:

  • Focus groups enable more detailed analysis
  • People actually describe their experience rather than rate it on a scale
  • Focus groups engender feelings of real involvement and participation in the process
  • Participants can discuss and generate solutions, not merely identify problems
  • Focus groups can literally ‘focus’ on a problem area or group, so can be used after a survey has highlighted something worthy of further investigation

In Equilibrium have specialist expertise in the use of focus groups and semi-structured interviews for stress risk assessment, and can provide advice and practical support. For further information, please contact Alastair Taylor on tel: 0131 476 5027 or e-mail: