Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Services Research & Administration

First Committee Member

Dr. Brandon Grimm

Second Committee Member

Dr. Hongmei Wang

Third Committee Member

Dr. Shannon Maloney

Fourth Committee Member

Sarah Miller, APRN, CNP


This capstone project produced a qualitative research design and analysis plan for youth focus groups as part of a Quality Improvement project at OneWorld Community Health Center (OWCHC) School-Based Health Center (SBHC) located at Bryan High School (BHS) in a program called BEARS. The intended use of this project is to serve as a reference guide for BEARS program planners to utilize as part of the data collection and analysis processes. The purpose for collecting qualitative data for this project is three-fold. 1. To explore adolescents’ perspectives of risk behaviors and associated health determinants common to their age group 2. Offer an opportunity for students to collaborate about health inequities within their school community and voice suggestions on strategies to address those needs. 3. Provide qualitative findings that program planners can reference when designing interventions. The deliverable from this project will assist OneWorld in capturing qualitative data through a methodical approach and framework, assisting program planners in focus group design, execution and analysis. Additionally, considerations for disseminating the findings is offered for the placement site.

The intent of the focus group design is to inform program development by exploring adolescent perspectives of health behaviors and the social, structural and cognitive barriers to optimal health and academic achievement. The researcher constructed the focus group plan using published quantitative data illustrating the prevalence of risk behaviors in the adolescent population. Additionally, published data regarding the relationship of protective factors and social determinants of health on risk behavior in the adolescent population was considered for the focus group design. The Rapid Assessment of Adolescent Preventive Services, Public Health (RAAPS-PH) screening tool will be utilized by OWCHC, SBHC in the BEARS program to capture student reported data regarding risk behaviors, protective factors and social determinants of health. Quantitative data available on a comparative U.S. High School using the same screening tool was utilized as reference group by the researcher when designing the deliverable for this project. The Framework Method was modeled to inform the data management and analysis strategies within the plan proposal and to assist facilitation of the Constant Comparative techniques suggested. As part of the final deliverable, recommendations for data dissemination including ethical considerations were offered. The impacts of this project and subsequent research will continue to inform interventions provided to individual students (tertiary prevention), groups of students (secondary prevention) and from a systems level perspective to inform primary prevention strategies. Long-term public health impacts include a reduction in preventable morbidity and mortality rates in this population and improved graduation rates.