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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
5188.0: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 3:24 PM

Abstract #109097

From the inside looking out: Describing transformational changes in community health advisors through photo voice

Susan Mayfield-Johnson, ABD, MPH, CHES, Center for Sustainable Health Outreach, University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive #10015, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, 601-266-6266, Susan.Johnson@usm.edu

Despite interest in community education programs that address health issues, little attention has been given to community members' development during learning and the ways in which they experience and interpret the process of becoming active participants in solving their own health problems. This is because research and practice in most community health education programs have been guided by the protocols of rigorous evaluation designs with emphasis placed on quantitative outcomes. Specifically, goals and objectives are measured in terms of changes in levels of morbidity and mortality corresponding to the nature and funding of the program. Although these protocols are important for program success and continued funding, research also needs to focus on the participants and the transformation within the individual throughout the community health intervention.

This session will describe a qualitative research study that examines how volunteer community health advisors transform as a result of a community participatory health intervention that focused on both cancer education and leadership development. An innovative methodology, photo voice, was used to document these changes and assist in the development of in-depth interview questions. Photo voice is a participatory process that integrates empowerment education, feminist theory, and documentary photography. It puts the camera in the hand of the individual whose life is daily impacted rather than entrust it to health specialists, policymakers, or professional photographers. The goal is to use people's photographic documentation of their everyday lives as an educational tool to record and to reflect their needs, promote dialogue, encourage action, and inform policy.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community Health Advisor, Women

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commertial supporters WITH THE EXCEPTION OF Study funded by the National Cancer Institute..

The Community as Partner in Health Education

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA