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Piloting period:

e.g.February – June 2012



The intervention took place in the town of Paralimni which is an urban area. The meetings were held at the cafeteria of a sport venue and were usually held during the weekend. In all cases, the meeting venue was empty in order to avoid any disturbances and to ensure the confidentiality of the participants so that they felt comfortable.


Description of intervention:

- How many adolescents

There were 26 adolescents participating (8 boys and 18 girls) with a mean age of 15.6 years old.

- How many parents participated in the intervention

There were 25 participants (10 males and 15 females) with a mean age of 37 years old.


Main Obstacles:

Overall, the recruitment of parents was hampered by the fact that most of them work at different times. In addition, some parents/adults were hesitant in participating in group discussions where sensitive family issues could have come up and thus recruitment became even more difficult. Furthermore, it was difficult to reach parents in the particular period because a lot of them were preparing for a busy summer work period (seasonal workers). Despite the fact that the period at the start of the project was the exam review period for adolescents, recruitment was relatively successful. Another difficulty was realized towards the end of the sessions, which was the exam period for the students while during the period when the sessions were held there was an extended Easter vacation too. Another practical difficulty was the transportation of adolescents from different areas to the meeting venue by the facilitator. After the groups were formed, there was a difficulty in finding a suitable time that would be convenient for all participants.


Suggestions for improvement:

Role play activities, presentations, and group discussion were more appealing to the participants rather than writing activities. As the parents and teenagers were tired from work and school, respectively, they found writing somewhat boring. However, the facilitator asked them to present their results that resulted from the writing activities, so the exercise became more interesting and participants felt more involved. Participants, on the other hand, considered interaction activities as well as the tips on communicating with teenagers particularly useful. It would probably work better if activities involving writing were either removed or shortened dedicating more time to the activities that were more appealing to the participants. Overall, the participants enjoyed the spirit in the sessions and it seems that it would be good to have a longer intervention, may be with more time between the sessions, for example, meeting once per month instead of once a week.


Lessons learned:

It has been shown that focus groups have an intrinsic value and that they can be used to approach similar sensitive topics. The sessions brought closer together people who did not know each other and made them feel more confident on certain issues after the intervention. Even after the end of the project, some of the participants argued that as time passed since the end of the intervention, their willingness to quit smoking became stronger. This finding, in contrast with other research, suggests that our intervention had a stronger impact in the long term. In addition, even though the research group assumed that it would be difficult to collect an adequate number of parents that would accept to get involved in the project, it appears that the snowball technique used is particularly effective when dealing with such sensitive issues.



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The euFAQT project has received funding from the European Union / DG Health and Consumer Protection. The European Commission and the Executive Agency are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained on this website.


The project was kindly supported by KEELPNO.