Photovoice distinguishes itself from other qualitative research methods for its visual features and participant empowerment. As a powerful tool for community-based participatory research and health promotion programs, researchers and practitioners are paying more attention to this method in recent years. Accordingly, some photovoice systematic reviews have been published and more are underway to synthesize evidence in various research fields. However, due to the exploratory nature of the photovoice method, broad research questions for photo taking, flexible steps in photo discussion and analysis, and lack of standardized qualitative review guidelines, it could be challenging to conduct a photovoice systematic review. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the photovoice method, debrief the process of a previous review, summarize lessons learned, and provide suggestions to facilitate future photovoice systematic reviews. This paper may also be of benefit to researchers who intend to apply photovoice to their research topics, or plan to conduct other types of photovoice literature reviews (e.g., scoping reviews).


photovoice, systematic review, participatory qualitative research method, community health promotion

Author Bio(s)

Yingwei Yang, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral researcher at Duke University Social Science Research Institute in Durham, NC. Her research interests focus on youth risk behaviors, adolescent mental health, sports injuries, and community safety promotion using advanced statistical techniques (e.g., structural equation modeling) and participatory qualitative methods (e.g., photovoice). Please direct correspondence to yingwei.yang@duke.edu.

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