Study published: Interpretation of photos in interviews with women experiencing homelessness


In a paper recently published in Qualitative Health Research, researchers present results from a study exploring the use of photos in interviews with women experiencing homelessness. The paper addresses challenges in using researcher-generated photos in interviews with hard-to-reach populations.

A hand holding a few photos

Use of photos in interviews
Conducting interviews with individuals experiencing homelessness poses unique challenges, ranging from physical and mental health issues to negative experiences with authority representatives. To overcome these challenges, researchers have increasingly turned to visual aids such as photos to facilitate communication and empower participants during data collection.

Interviews with 13 women experiencing homelessness
In this study, the researchers analyzed data from interviews with 13 women experiencing homelessness, in which the researchers provided photos that were referred to during the interview. They aimed to understand how women with lived experiences of homelessness perceived photo selection, the frequency and timing of photo references, and the use of photos to guide discussions. The study found that researcher-generated photos were referred to 118 times over a total interview duration of 6 hours and 23 minutes. Notably, 62% of referrals came from interviewers, with the women accounting for 38%, and 59% of referrals occurring within the first 5 minutes.

While researcher-generated photos can be valuable for eliciting health descriptions, careful consideration of the interview population's perspectives is essential. The study also underscores the need for participatory approaches in research design and creating supportive environments for interviews with women experiencing homelessness.

Read the paper ‘Collaborative Interpretation of Researcher-Generated Photo-Elicitation Findings: Insights From Women With Lived Experience of Homelessness’. It is written by Gustav Bockgård, Elisabet Mattsson, Louise von Essen, and Anna Klarare.

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Last modified: 2023-03-24