208647 Participatory Photo Mapping (PPM): An Integrated Method for Community Health Assessment

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:15 PM

Suzanne Gaulocher, MPH, MA , University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Public Health for Madison Dane County, Madison, WI
Participatory Photo-Mapping (PPM) integrates digital photography, global positioning systems (GPS), and GIS together with community-based participatory strategies to facilitate dialog as well as give voice to people not usually invited to speak about their experiences. PPM is used to develop and design collaborative projects and networks to improve health and well-being of communities by strengthening health information networks and sharing that information with community members, public health practitioners and policy makers. Population based health data are collected, geocoded, and combined with a coordinated set of photographs, narratives and focus group data. PPM produces a rich set of qualitative and quantitative data about the experience of health and place.

How it works:

1. Provide community members with digital cameras and GPS units to document use of their neighborhood and recreation environments

2. Conduct focus groups by projecting photographs and community members discuss local concerns

3. Images are geocoded including spatial data like demographic and population data to create a qualitative GIS assessment

4. Information is communicated back to local decision-makers, community organizations and policy makers

The results of PPM aim to enhance health information systems and advise public health and policy decision makers. This information will improve health and well being of communities by providing decision makers, including policy makers, family medicine and public health practitioners, with useful environmental and socio-economic data linked to specific rural and urban neighborhoods. Researchers will use findings as a way to translate research into practice and policy and justify early intervention and supportive services.

Learning Objectives:
Participatory Photo Mapping is a tool that helps us explore the experience of health and place and for communicating this experience to people who share a common goal of addressing health and building community. We do it to: 1. Assess the environmental contributions to health, safety, well-being, as well as physical activity and nutrition environments, 2. Discuss peoplesí perceptions of their neighborhood environments (safety, nutrition and physical activity), 3. Identify environmental factors that impact physical activity and nutrition, (recreation and nutrition environments) 4. Define community supports and barriers to health, 5. Analyze findings 6. disseminate recommendations and information back to the community, stakeholders and policy decision-makers.

Keywords: Community Health Assessment, Participatory Action Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Suzanne Gaulocher, MPH, MA, is currently working with Public Health for Madison and Dane County using participatory strategies to address health disparities within communities and address the intersection between the built environment and health. She is currently working with the Neighborhood and Community Team at the health department using PPM to learn perceptions of health and place across the county.
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.