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What are Photovoice studies?
  1. Emma Smith1,
  2. Melody Carter2,
  3. Elaine Walklet3,
  4. Paul Hazell4
  1. 1 School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Worcester, Swindon Road, Cheltenham, UK
  2. 2 School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Worcester, Worcester, Worcestershire, UK
  3. 3 School of Natural and Social Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK
  4. 4 School of Digital Arts, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Emma Smith, University of Worcester, Swindon Road, Cheltenham, UK; e.smith2{at}

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Photovoice is a participatory action research method which provides cameras to a group of individuals and asks them to record their experiences over a period of time.1 The photographs taken by participants are subsequently used as catalysts for discussion. ‘Photovoice’ is so called because it aims to allow the photographic image to become the participants’ voice in order to communicate their experiences to a variety of different audiences. Originally developed by Wang and Burris as a way to improve reproductive health policy for women in rural China, Photovoice has three primary goals: (1) to enable participants to record and reflect on their community’s strengths and concerns, (2) to promote critical dialogue and (3) to reach stakeholders (both policy makers and the general public) who are able to enact change.1

Photovoice is a particularly relevant method for the field of Nursing because of its historical concern for social justice.2 Photovoice is similarly rooted in the ideas of social justice and emphasises individual and community empowerment through participation. Likewise, it is important for nurses to possess an understanding of the lived experiences of their own patients. This is particularly the case with those who are marginalised or those whose needs are unrecognised, or where nurses and others may struggle to understand how best to act in a practice situation.3 Successful use of this method could assist healthcare professionals and policy makers to …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.