Consideration of methodological issues when using photo-elicitation in qualitative research

Journal article


Church, S. and Quilter, J. (2020). Consideration of methodological issues when using photo-elicitation in qualitative research. Nurse Researcher.
AuthorsChurch, S. and Quilter, J.
Abstract

Background The use of photo-elicitation interviews (PEI) have increased in popularity across a range of disciplines including healthcare. Whilst qualitative researchers have embraced the use of photographs as a creative means to explore people’s experiences of their lives and environments, the methodological and practical aspects of using photographs have received little attention in the literature.

Aim
This paper is intended to discuss the use of photo-elicitation interview techniques, including some of the methodological issues relating to sourcing and using photographs.

Discussion
The paper discusses definitions of photo-elicitation as well as exploring the value and difference between the use of researcher versus participant generated photographs. Methodological issues associated with the use of photographs in research are considered in the context of a small scale focus group study using a photo-elicitation technique to explore young women’s conceptualisations of teenage and older motherhood.

Conclusion
The use of photographs in research is far more complex than providing participants with cameras or presenting them with a series of photographs. Reflecting on the experience of using photo-elicitation techniques within qualitative research, this paper emphasises the need for researchers to be aware of the potential bias in the choice, selection and sequencing of photographs and the methodological considerations associated with this approach.

Implications for practice
This paper highlights the value of using photographs in qualitative research and presents some of the methodological issues which need to be considered by researchers across nursing and healthcare in the design and conduct of research using photographs.

Key words: 6 key words
Photographs, photo-elicitation, older mothers, selection and sourcing, bias

KeywordsPhotographs; photo-elicitation; older mothers; selection and sourcing; bias
Year2020
JournalNurse Researcher
PublisherRCN Publishing (RCNi)
ISSN1351-5578
Publication process dates
Accepted29 Oct 2020
Deposited21 Dec 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
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