Using Instagram as a Modified Application of Photovoice for Storytelling and Sharing in Adolescents With Type 1 Diabetes

Qual Health Res. 2015 Oct;25(10):1372-82. doi: 10.1177/1049732315583282. Epub 2015 Apr 22.


Photovoice is a research method developed to help communities share images as a tool for discussion of key issues. Although this may be useful to promote healthy behavior, using Photovoice in adolescents has been logistically challenging. Given adolescents' engagement in social media, our study explored the feasibility of using a photo-sharing mobile phone application, Instagram, to accomplish the principles of Photovoice. Twenty adolescents 14 to 18 years old with type 1 diabetes were asked to use Instagram to post any diabetes-related photo for 3 weeks. Individual interviews and a focus group were also offered, and recruitment and retention statistics were tracked. Of those approached (n = 47), 43% agreed to participate. Twelve were actively engaged. Shared photos were most likely to fall into the categories of diabetes care, humor, or food. Engaged participants universally reported the project to be a positive experience; however, there were technological and personal factors to consider for widespread implementation.

Keywords: United States, Northwest; concept development; diabetes, adolescents / youth, at risk; feasibility study; photography / photovoice; qualitative; technology, use in research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Communication
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photography / methods*
  • Research Design*
  • Social Networking*