As part of a photo-elicitation interview study, we aimed to describe homeless and marginally housed Veterans’ experiences with health and wellness, health decisions, and health-related behaviors. Twenty Veterans receiving Veterans Affairs Homeless Patient-Aligned Care Team care took photographs depicting health and wellness, then used their photographs to discuss the same topics in 30-60 minute audio-recorded, semi-structured photo-elicitation interviews. Transcripts were analyzed using template analysis. Veterans described eight dimensions related to their health and wellness; physical, social, and environmental were most commonly discussed, followed by emotional, intellectual, spiritual, occupational, and financial wellness. Photographs contained literal and metaphorical depictions that were positively-oriented, comprehensive, and reflective. Of central importance was overcoming external and internal obstacles to wellness. Photo-narratives may be helpful in educating health care providers and advocating for the needs of homeless and marginally housed Veterans. Integrated primary care services should address the multi-faceted aspects of health and wellness for Veterans.
Veterans, Vulnerable Populations, Patient Experience, Primary Health Care, Qualitative Research, Photo-Elicitation
This work was supported by a pilot research grant from VISN 4 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (PIs: Michael A. Mitchell, Lauren M. Broyles). This work was also supported by Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) Service, locally initiated research funding (PI: Michael A. Mitchell; 72-079). Finally, this work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Academic Affiliations Advanced Fellowship Program in Addiction Treatment (Michael A. Mitchell), a Career Development Award (CDA 10-014) from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research & Development service (Lauren M. Broyles) and with resources and facilities at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Government.
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Recommended APA Citation
Rodriguez, K. L., Broyles, L. M., Mitchell, M. A., Wieland, M. E., True, G., & Gordon, A. J. (2019). “Build a Bridge So You Can Cross It:” A Photo-Elicitation Study of Health and Wellness Among Homeless and Marginally Housed Veterans. The Qualitative Report, 24(2), 371-394. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2019.3498