Cytotechnologist Focus Groups


Focus Group Participation

The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) would like to invite you to participate in a focus group examining the past, current and future states of the cytotechnologist profession in Canada, as well as the impact it has had/will have on professionals.

Background and Purpose: Cytology has and will continue to evolve as professional requirements and population demographics change. The lack of literature regarding this change, the lack of data to expose any workforce shortages, and the lack of perspective directly from cytotechnologists on the topics may significantly hinder the ability of the profession to grow and adapt to the changing health care system. An opportunity exists to fill the gap in the literature.

The current study will conduct semi-structured focus groups (teleconference) with cytotechnologists to obtain a better understanding of this topic. During the focus group, you will be asked questions related to:

  • Describing the major changes in the field and profession over the past 10 years, including the impact of these changes.
  • Describing the current state of the profession, including a description of the demographic characteristics of cytotechnologists in relation to the potential for a workforce shortage.
  • Describing any trends that may change the field and profession in the next 10 years, including the impact of these changes.
  • Describing any recommendations to academic programs and clinical employers to support the profession over the next 10 years.

Focus Group Dates:

Monday, Oct 21st 12 pm ET Wednesday, Oct 23rd 6 pm ET Saturday, Oct 26th 12 pm ET
Registration full for this date Registration full for this date  

Eligibility Criteria:

The participants must be:

  • a certified cytotechnologist,
  • working in a Canadian clinical setting or recently retired,
  • must be a CSMLS member, and
  • must be 19 years of age or older.

Time: Each focus group will require approximately 1.5 hours of active participation to complete.

Confidentiality: You will be participating in this study confidentially, within the limits of Canadian law. You will not be asked to provide information that identifies who you are or your place of work during the focus group. However, given the connected nature of the cytotechnology community, it is possible that you may identify someone or someone identifies you. Should you question whether the information you are providing will result in identification, do not provide this information at all. Your responses should only discuss situations or outcomes in general terms.

The focus groups will be recorded and transcribed, and the study investigators may make handwritten notes. If you unintentionally provide identifying information, the Principal Investigator will irreversibly remove this from the data prior to analysis. The resulting dataset will be aggregated and the analysis disseminated in a publicly available summary report.

Benefits: Although you may not personally benefit from participation, other than having your opinion heard, your responses will provide valuable information. It is anticipated that the study results will benefit cytotechnologists in the future as CSMLS may use the information to support projects that benefit the profession. A study report will be added to the CSMLS website for dissemination to members and the public.

There will not be an incentive or remuneration provided for participating in a focus group.

Risks: As the focus groups will not collect personal identifiers and will not require discussion of a highly sensitive topic, there is minimal risk in participation. Personal identifying information is only required during the registration process to ensure participation eligibility. It will not be connected to any of the data collected during the focus groups.

It is possible that you may feel some psychological discomfort during the focus group discussions if you have experienced negative psychological effects due to your profession. Should this occur, all participants have the right to answer or not answer any question(s) and the ability to exit the focus group at any time by hanging up. Should you continue to feel discomfort after participating in the forum, please contact your local health care services for support.

As you will not be identifiable in the focus group results, the investigators cannot remove any information you provide after you have exited the teleconference.

Contact: If you have any questions or concerns regarding this study please contact the study investigator, Laura Zychla (

Consent: By volunteering to participate in this focus group, it is assumed you fully understand the project and consent to participate. While your identity will remain confidential throughout the data collected in this project, it is assumed you consent to the use of your responses in this project.

To register for a focus group, log into your CSMLS account. Then click on the registration button below. You may also contact to register.

Christine Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science
33 Wellington St. North, Hamilton
ON, L8R 1M7

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