The National Children's Study (NCS) is a prospective observational study examining the effects of environmental influences on child health and development in the United States. Videovoice is a health advocacy and promotion methodology wherein participants use participatory videography and interviewing techniques to identify issues of concern, communicate knowledge, and advocate for community health. This study describes a videovoice project, implemented in six Cook County, IL, communities targeted by the NCS for participant recruitment. A 6-week, videovoice training was conducted to train and empower NCS community outreach and engagement personnel. Pre/post evaluations were administered, and participant footage was qualitatively analyzed to identify overarching themes informing future outreach. Participants reported significant increases (p < .05) in videography/photography skills, community outreach/communication abilities, and awareness of important community health issues. Major themes included the following: high community knowledge of local health issues, low community knowledge of the NCS, and identification of barriers to participation. Two promotional videos were created to address these barriers and educate communities about the NCS. A 6-week, videovoice project was effective in training NCS community outreach personnel and enhancing NCS community engagement within six target Cook County, IL, communities via the production of community-engaged NCS promotional videos.
Keywords: Internet/electronic interventions; child/adolescent health; community organization; community-based participatory research; environmental health; health research; lay health advisors/community health workers; maternal and infant health; social marketing/health communication; technology.