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This poster describes the use of virtual focus groups with school-aged children in the development of a pediatric wellbeing picture scale to screen for mental health and wellbeing. Children's opinions, creative ideas, and insights allow acquisition of new data and knowledge, but unfortunately, are frequently overlooked. When using developmentally-based principles, focus groups have been shown to be a successful and reliable method for collecting data from this age group and a novel way to better understand the child’s interactions and experiences. Focus groups have a number of advantages, allowing for in-depth exploration of discussion by the participants. Students in Nursing 499 conducted developmentally-based focus groups with children grades 3-5 to develop the Pediatric Well Being Picture Scale. Basing focus groups on theoretical frameworks of Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg creates an environment conducive to open discussion and expression of children’s ideas. These focus groups give children the opportunity to connect to one another and feel more comfortable in talking about items about emotional wellbeing. This allowed the researcher to gain an understanding of the children’s perspective for the items on the wellbeing scale. Limitations noted due to the virtual environment included maintaining the child’s attention, adequacy of technology, and assuring that each child had the opportunity to equally participate. Benefits include more openness and candor due a sense of anonymity from not being in the same location.



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Using Developmental Frameworks to Implement Focus Groups in School-Aged Children