Title

Photographs and family health: occupational insight and implications

1

Location

Armory Room

Start Time

29-9-2016 2:00 PM

End Time

29-9-2016 3:30 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Key Words: Family Occupation; Family Health; Occupational Reflection

Background and Purpose: Family occupation, a co-constructed experience, reflects the integrity of a family’s engagement in everyday life and subsequently family health. While studies are revealing the threat disability has on family health, the construct of family health has yet to be explicated. The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth look at family health through phenomenological interviews triangulated by family photographs of the meaning of family health in families not experiencing the influence of disability.

Methods: This study used a phenomenological approach (Moustakas, 1994) to capture the essence of family health for families raising children to illuminate their perceptions of their family’s health. Five families, from an urban Minnesota city, were recruited for the study and consented to in-depth interviewing inquiring about family health, before and after photograph capture. Following the initial interview focused on describing family health, families were asked to take photographs for a month of moments which reflected positive family health. Photographs could be of persons, things or a combination. Families were asked to prioritize 10 photographs to bring and describe at the second interview, as well as revisiting the description of family health. Phenomenological analyses were used for textual data, while iconographic analyses (Carlson, et al., 2006), guided by occupational constructs, were used across photographs.

Discussions/Conclusions: Results of this study contribute to the building of the construct of family health, explicating the essential characteristics of family health and have particular relevance to occupational science. The pre themes included; “Being there and doing things as a family”, “Can’t come up with a solution” and “You do what you can to be the best that you can”. These themes captured the challenges and efforts inherent to the preservation of family health. Post themes included; “We spend time together”, “Support: Something that is always there”, “We need to tend to it” and “Our Family is Not Limited to Just Us”. Interestingly, the themes of family health were similar in the elements of togetherness and effort to maintain family health. However, the themes from the post interview accentuated the nature of being family, the support inherent in daily life and extension beyond the nuclear family. The iconographic analyses of the photographers revealed a majority of photographs taken regarding family health were focused on leisure and social participation. Therefore, the use of photographs in research and practice may change the narrative of family health in a positive manner and may highlight the protective factors of family health.

Question for discussion:

  1. How can initial evidence from this study help inform both occupational science and occupational therapy?
  2. How does photographic reflection influence our understanding of the construct of occupation?
  3. What implications does photographic reflection have in understanding the occupational story of those we work with?

References

Carlson, E. D., Engerbretson, J., & Chamberlain, R. M. (2006). Photovoice as a social process of critical consciousness. Qualitative Health Research, 16(6), 836-852.

Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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Sep 29th, 2:00 PM Sep 29th, 3:30 PM

Photographs and family health: occupational insight and implications

Armory Room

Key Words: Family Occupation; Family Health; Occupational Reflection

Background and Purpose: Family occupation, a co-constructed experience, reflects the integrity of a family’s engagement in everyday life and subsequently family health. While studies are revealing the threat disability has on family health, the construct of family health has yet to be explicated. The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth look at family health through phenomenological interviews triangulated by family photographs of the meaning of family health in families not experiencing the influence of disability.

Methods: This study used a phenomenological approach (Moustakas, 1994) to capture the essence of family health for families raising children to illuminate their perceptions of their family’s health. Five families, from an urban Minnesota city, were recruited for the study and consented to in-depth interviewing inquiring about family health, before and after photograph capture. Following the initial interview focused on describing family health, families were asked to take photographs for a month of moments which reflected positive family health. Photographs could be of persons, things or a combination. Families were asked to prioritize 10 photographs to bring and describe at the second interview, as well as revisiting the description of family health. Phenomenological analyses were used for textual data, while iconographic analyses (Carlson, et al., 2006), guided by occupational constructs, were used across photographs.

Discussions/Conclusions: Results of this study contribute to the building of the construct of family health, explicating the essential characteristics of family health and have particular relevance to occupational science. The pre themes included; “Being there and doing things as a family”, “Can’t come up with a solution” and “You do what you can to be the best that you can”. These themes captured the challenges and efforts inherent to the preservation of family health. Post themes included; “We spend time together”, “Support: Something that is always there”, “We need to tend to it” and “Our Family is Not Limited to Just Us”. Interestingly, the themes of family health were similar in the elements of togetherness and effort to maintain family health. However, the themes from the post interview accentuated the nature of being family, the support inherent in daily life and extension beyond the nuclear family. The iconographic analyses of the photographers revealed a majority of photographs taken regarding family health were focused on leisure and social participation. Therefore, the use of photographs in research and practice may change the narrative of family health in a positive manner and may highlight the protective factors of family health.

Question for discussion:

  1. How can initial evidence from this study help inform both occupational science and occupational therapy?
  2. How does photographic reflection influence our understanding of the construct of occupation?
  3. What implications does photographic reflection have in understanding the occupational story of those we work with?