268486 “We've been looking for a way to talk with my father-in-law about his health practices”: Using photovoice to encourage healthy lifestyle practices within families

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Judy Springer, PhD , Physical Education Department, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee, WI
Lisa Stark, MPH, MS, RD, CD , Dietetics, Mount Mary College, Milwaukee, WI
Establishing health awareness programs to reach culturally-diverse populations may advance healthy lifestyle practices for improved health. Photovoice, a qualitative research methodology, involves the use of photography and enables individuals to document, reflect upon and communicate health messages to others for promoting behavioral change. By enlisting families to communicate health messages the process may be enhanced. Purpose: Examine the feasibility and impact of a guided educational intervention centering on successful aging and photovoice development for a diverse sample of young adults and their older relatives.

Methods: Participants (n=24; age range 18-27) received a six-week interactive training program on physical activity (PA) for health, successful aging and development of photovoice. Young adult participants engaged in PA and developed photovoices; older adult (n=24; age range 54-84) relatives served as photovoice models, reviewed and evaluated projects. Descriptive statistics and evaluative feedback measures were developed.

Results: Participants rated high program satisfaction, especially in comfort with educational methods. Post-program improvements in knowledge and skills were significantly higher for young adults (p<.001). Results suggest that (1) older adults who have aged successfully (i.e., advanced chronological age, quality of life) role model healthy lifestyle practices for younger adults, and (2) photovoice development increases families' awareness of factors (e.g., sedentary lifestyle, smoking) associated with decreased quality of life.

Conclusion: An intergenerational initiative that provides culturally-specific health information for successful aging may be effective. Our findings suggest when health behaviors are communicated by family members an increased understanding and relevance for information results. Implications for practitioners and researchers are discussed.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the process of photovoice development 2. Evaluate the relevance of culturally-specific tailored interventions 3. Discuss the value of intergenerational promotional practices

Keywords: Family Involvement, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal investigator on a number of grant-funded projects focusing on physical activity and long-term program adherence.
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.