Photovoice: use of a participatory action research method to explore the chronic pain experience in older adults

Qual Health Res. 2006 Dec;16(10):1405-13. doi: 10.1177/1049732306294118.


Photovoice is a participatory action research method in which individuals photograph their everyday health and work realities. The objective of this study is to determine the efficacy of photovoice as a unique and innovative method examining the pain experiences of clinic and nonclinic-based Black and White adults older than 50 years of age. Participants took photographs and composed written narratives based on their experiences with pain. Respondents also completed several open-ended questions focusing on their daily experiences with chronic pain. Some respondents identified their participation as a way of helping others cope with pain. Others felt it was a way of sharing their experiences with others. Photovoice might be used as an alternative method to enhance the understanding of the pain experience, thereby allowing researchers, health care providers, and policy makers to understand more fully and identify the dimensions of the pain experience not captured through quantitative measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Blacks / psychology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Photography*
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Sick Role*
  • Whites / psychology*
  • Writing*