Visual methods offer an innovative approach to qualitative research through their potential to prompt dialogue, enrich verbal and textual data, and enable participants to communicate about difficult topics. However, the use of visual methods requires that researchers rethink methodological aspects of data generation and analysis, especially when working with participant-generated images. Although there are now many analytical frameworks and guidebooks providing instructions on the analysis of textual and visual materials, detailed descriptions of how these elements are brought together are often missing from research reports, precluding novice and other researchers from understanding how findings were attained. Our aim in this article is to describe and illustrate the Textual-Visual Thematic Analysis (TVTA), a framework we developed to collaboratively analyze the conjunction and interaction of textual and visual data in a photo-elicitation study. Given that the ethical and methodological aspects are deeply entwined, we begin the article by contextualizing the data obtained from the photo-elicitation study and then consider confidentiality and approaches to valuing participants' voices. Next, we share the TVTA framework, its procedural implementation, and insights derived from evolving our data analysis approach. We conclude by offering reflections on the limitations and possibilities for future research.


data analysis, photo-elicitation, ethics, visual methods, photographs

Author Bio(s)

Gabriela Trombeta is a Ph.D. candidate in Psychology by the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar). Her research is focused on the use of media resources (photography, mobile apps and UX Design) applied to Implementation Research and Psychological Interventions, with a special interest in psychology disciplines related to social skills, depression, anxiety, mindfulness and work-life balance. Please direct correspondence to gabriela_trombeta@hotmail.com.

Susan Cox is a qualitative health researcher and Professor at the University of British Columbia. Her research employs arts-based methods to understand lived experiences of health and illness and to explore challenges in graduate supervisory relationships especially as these relate to inclusivity and diversity. Susan is keenly interested in research ethics and brings a critical lens to identifying potentially troublesome aspects of arts-based inquiry. With colleagues in Melbourne, she developed Guidelines for Ethical Research Methods (available at https://vrc.org.au/), co-edited a special issue of Visual Methods and the book Ethics and Visual Research Methods: Theory, Methodology, and Practice, published by Springer in 2016. Please direct correspondence to susan.cox@ubc.ca.


This work was supported by The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) under Grant 2018/10632-8, Grant 2019/03959-3, by The Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES - Financial Code 001) and by The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, an interdisciplinary research unit within the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Due to the nature of this research, the complete dataset that supports the findings of this study is not publicly available due to its potential to contain information that could compromise the privacy of research participants. Any data published in this study are done so with the signed permission of participants and their guardians. There are no copyright limitations on these images.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-5485-1239



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