182892 Photo-Mapping: Women with physical disabilities visually capture and relay to others the factors that influence breast health screening during a health care visit

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ellen Lopez, PhD, MPH , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Eva Egensteiner , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Elena Andresen, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Lisa Hannold , Rorc, VA, Gainesville, FL
Melissa Lanzone , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Vijay Vasudevan , Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
William Kennedy , Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida, Gainesville, FL
Background/Significance: Women with significant physical disabilities have numerous medical encounters. Still, many do not receive breast health screenings as recommended. Elucidating the influence of disability on preventive health care is imperative to addressing this public health issue. By placing cameras in the hands of women with disabilities, photography becomes a valuable tool for enhancing understanding of screening behavior as relayed through their own eyes and experiences.

Objective/Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and benefits of providing digital cameras to women with physical disabilities so they could “Photo-map” the factors that made breast health screening easy or difficult during an actual medical visit.

Methods: Women were trained in the Photo-mapping method and provided digital cameras. With consent from their health care provider and the facility manager, women took pictures that represented the facilitators and barriers they experienced. They also developed audio-recorded descriptions for their photographs; highlighting their meaning and significance. The photos and audio-recordings were developed into narrated slideshows (Photo-maps) that were delivered over a secure website for viewing and evaluation.

Results and Discussion: Several women were interested in completing Photo-maps, yet gaining consent from the medical providers and facilities was a challenge. Each completed Photo-map revealed the woman's personal story and the visit aspects she felt were important to document and relay to others. We will present several Photo-maps and discuss their feasibility vis-à-vis the authorization and technical processes required, and how they were evaluated for their potential as tools for research, education, and empowerment.

Learning Objectives:
• Articulate the need for research and intervention to improve access to breast health screening and quality of life of women living with physical disabilities. • Recognize the specific challenges of creating Photo-maps within a health care setting. • Assess the potential of photo-maps as innovative channels for women with disabilities to voice and relay their perspectives to others.

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Breast Cancer Screening

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI on this study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.