What works best for worksite cholesterol education? Answers from targeted focus groups

P. R. McCarthy, D. Lansing, T. J. Hartman, J. H. Himes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Focus group discussions are an effective way to determine the needs and interests of a target population. In August 1989, eight focus group discussions were conducted with municipal employees in Phoenix, Ariz, to determine the needs and interests of potential participants in a worksite cholesterol education program. Employees were selected for the focus groups on the basis of an initial screening that determined their motivation to change customary eating habits. Individuals categorized as 'somewhat motivated' were invited to participate in the focus groups because researchers thought they would best represent the motivation level of the majority of potential participants in the cholesterol education program. The focus group participants indicated that they preferred educational formats and approaches that appealed to diverse learning styles and recognized individual differences. Several of the program features identified by the focus groups are consistent with principles of adult education, especially active participation in the learning activity. The focus group participants wanted information presented in a simple, easy-to-understand manner, and they asked for behavioral directives rather than background information or medical jargon. Release time from work and employer commitment to the program were viewed as important to the success of the program. We conclude that employees respond best to worksite wellness programs that are simple, practical, and relevant and that allow them to participate actively in the learning activity during work time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)978-981
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • General Medicine


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