198206 Picturevoice: Public health communication through art

Monday, November 9, 2009

John Baird, MSc , Department of Mathematics, Columbia University Teachers College, Austin, TX
Picturevoice is an art-based analogue of photovoice: individuals create their own pieces reflecting their personal perspective, promoting knowledge synthesis. Formats span the full range of visual illustration. We investigated the feasibility of communicating public health information through the use of sequential art. Two groups - school children from Northview Elementary (N=152) and patrons of the Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library (N=79) participated in structured picturevoice activities. Artwork was qualitatively evaluated for several factors, including knowledge demonstration and topic relevance. Northview students produced their art as part of a National Public Health Week 2008 field trip to the Pittsburgh Children's Museum; Squirrel Hill patrons created art during an in-library activity during the 2008 holidays. Northview students were 8-12 years old; library participants were 4-17 years old. Art from Northview showed high levels of knowledge and relevance to the focus topics of climate change and recycling. Squirrel Hill patrons demonstrated consistent understanding of the health advice provided. Art featured creative interpretations of themes and use of popular culture. Picturevoice is a useful means of collecting individual perspectives on various health issues, including recycling, climate change, and nutrition. It is an effective educational tool suitable for young children and teens to help them internalize positive health messages. Picturevoice has several advantages over photovoice, including lower costs and faster turnaround in data collection. Like photovoice, its visual nature circumvents issues of literacy. Researchers working with marginalized populations should consider picturevoice as an important tool for elucidating key points.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participant will be able to describe a new method for combining the arts and health that improves on methods done solely with photography. This study demonstrates the ability of art to communicate complex health topics and advice to young children and teens.

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Photovoice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the primary organizer, planner, and implementer for both the projects described within this abstract. I am the inventor of the main concept described. I have done extensive work with children, education, and health promotion while a student.
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.