Privacy policy

This research project is designed to be conducted in accordance with the strict privacy and confidentiality practices of academic research in the social sciences.  

The following procedures will be used to protect the confidentiality of your study records, which will mainly consist of digital recordings of focus group conversation, transcripts of the focus groups, and the researcher’s notes.  The researcher will keep all study records, including any codes to your data, in a secure location such as a locked file cabinet or password protected digital storage.  Research records will be labeled with a code. A master key that links names and codes will be maintained in a separate and secure location. The master key and audiotapes will be destroyed no more than 3 years after the close of the study. All electronic files  containing identifiable information will be password protected. Any computer hosting such files will also have password protection to prevent access by unauthorized users. Only the researcher will have access to the passwords. At the conclusion of this study, the researchers may publish their findings. Information will be presented in summary format and you will not be identified in any publications or presentations.


Please be advised that although the researchers will take every precaution to maintain confidentiality of the data, the nature of focus groups prevents the researchers from guaranteeing absolute confidentiality. The researchers would like to remind participants to respect the privacy of your fellow participants and not repeat what is said in the focus group to others.