208681 Assessing the needs of low-income African American Cancer Survivors and their Caregivers: Using Photovoice Methodology

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:30 PM

Maghboeba Mosavel, PhD , Department of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth Universtiy, Richmond, VA
Meia Jones, BS , MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University Center for Reducing Health Disparities, Cleveland, OH
Karen Tabb, MSW , School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Catherine Oakar , Research Associate, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Kimberly Sanders, MPA , NEON, Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Centers, Cleveland, OH
The purpose of this presentation is to describe the development and lessons learned of conducting a community-based participatory needs assessment which used a photovoice model to capture needs and concerns of inner-city African American cancer survivors.

Snowball sampling methods produce a rich sample of African American cancer survivors and caregivers living in a five inner-city neighborhoods. We used a research methodology known as photovoice to capture the needs experienced by those with having experienced cancer (past or present) and their caregivers. Twenty patients attended picture taking training sessions which helped them to critically reflect on their environment and used this to take pictures. Based on these pictures, we developed the themes that identified the multiple and varied factors that influence the patient's ability to control manage their cancer treatments effectively. Furthermore, we developed a community advisory team consisting of community residents and other community stakeholders to guide the research.

In this presentation, we will discuss the challenges associated with the photovoice assignment. More importantly, we will discuss the feasibility and rewards of utilizing this particular method, photovoice, to capture important and visually powerful themes related to cancer survivorship. This project not only highlighted the significance of cancer and the role of social support to the participants but it also served to educate and inform others about the challenges associated with cancer survivorship in the African American community.

Learning Objectives:
•To identify the social, personal, cultural and environmental factors that affect cancer management •To identify the barriers in the community that pose challenges for treatment adherence •To identify the potential resources in the community to help with managing cancer treatments and improving health in general •To discuss how the mistrust of minority and poor individuals towards researchers can be decreased by building a relationship between researchers and participants •To describe a method by which patients can engage in a critical reflection of self, illness, and community • To discuss how policy makers can bring a change in the community by looking at factors identified by the community •To discuss how health care professionals can consider the social context of a disease while evaluating, treating and working with patients

Keywords: Cancer, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the research associate on the project
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.