262271 Addiction recovery through their eyes: Using photovoice to examine factors associated with recovery in a rural community

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Emily Eisenhart-Moore, MA , Center for Addiction Recovery, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Moya Alfonso, MSPH, PhD , Jiann Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Ashley Walker, PhD, CHES , Health and Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Alison Scott, PhD , Community Health/Health Behavior, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
Purpose: Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRCs), which support the needs of students in recovery, are being developed across the nation, but research conducted with CRCs is limited. The purpose of this study was to identify campus- and community-based factors that support and hinder continued recovery among members of a CRC in the rural Southeast using Photovoice.

Methods: Participating students (N=12) were enrolled in the Center for Addiction Recovery. Using the recommended Photovoice methodology, participants used photography to capture barriers and facilitators to addiction recovery that they experience on campus or in the community. Participants were given 14 days to take pictures. After 14 days, the researchers reconvened participants, and used in-depth interviews and focus groups structured by the SHOWeD method to facilitate discussion of their photographs. Content analysis of interview and focus group transcripts was used to identify the themes that emerged. Photographs and accompanying text were presented to university and local officials to foster discussion of environmental and policy changes needed to support students in recovery.

Results: Results provided insight into the day-to-day factors that made it easier or more difficult to remain in recovery. Factors were identified at multiple ecological levels and provided new insight into the total recovery experience and lifelong wellness of students in recovery.

Conclusions: Photovoice was a powerful technique for elucidating the challenges faced by students enrolled in a CRC. The findings of this study will aid public health education and policy initiatives designed to target those struggling with substance-use disorders among similar populations.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify at least one barrier and facilitator to addiction recovery when living in a rural community 2. Describe best practices of Photovoice when working with students living in recovery

Keywords: Substance Abuse, Rural Communities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Certified Health Education Specialist and I have a terminal degree in community health. I have also conducted other Photovoice studies with vulnerable populations.
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.