Background Photovoice is a novel research method which allows the communication of experience through participant-produced photographs. It has the potential to ‘dig deeper’ by offering participants another way of expressing aspects of life that may be difficult to put into words. It also allows researchers access to participants' homes, workplaces and social events. It is firmly rooted in the concept of ‘participation’ as participants have control of their own data and can choose when they produce it and how they share it. So far, it has been used successfully in other areas of health and social research and tentatively in cancer research.
Aims The overall aim of the presented study was to explore the experience of living with and beyond cancer from the perspective of people diagnosed with a ‘poor prognostic’ cancer in a society that celebrates survival.
Method Participants who have received a diagnosis of and treatment for a variety of ‘poor prognostic’ cancers (defined by site or stage) have been recruited nationally. Data have been gathered via interviews and participant-produced photographs. Participatory workshops have also been held in which participants have had an opportunity to be involved with the analysis of the photographs.
Results Analysis is still underway but consistent and interesting themes are emerging. The photographs are offering very strong and succinct portrayals of living with a poor prognostic cancer. Full results will be available to present at the conference.
Conclusion This study should provide much needed indepth information for professionals and policy-makers on the meaning of cancer for those with a likely limited survival and the positive and negative aspects of living with such a diagnosis.
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