Using Photovoice to Capture the Meaning of Gardening and What Motivates Refugees to Participate in Gardening Activities

Wednesday, 24 July 2013: 1:30 PM

Ruth B. Grubesic, RN, DrPH, PHCNS, BC
Department of Nursing, Schreiner University, Kerrville, TX

Learning Objective 1: describe how Photovoice was used to capture the meaning of gardening and what motivates refugees to participate in community gardening activities

Learning Objective 2: identify five themes that emerged from the photographs taken as part of the Photovoice technique of data collection

Purpose: To collect qualitative data, utilizing a technique called PhotoVoice, answering three study questions: Why do you participate in gardening? Does access to fresh produce from the garden affect food choices? How does gardening impact you and your family?

Methods: Fifteen refugee participants (from two refugee communities) agreed to ,participate. Two training sessions were given: 1. teach participants the Photovoice concept, 2. teach use of the digital camera. Participants spent 4 weeks taking photos aligning to the study questions. Captions were prepared for each selected photo. A photo display with the 5 photos and captions was prepared for each participant. A photo exhibit was given in the community to disseminate the findings,

Results: Five themes emerged; Gardening is good for health, vegetables are tasty, it is peaceful to garden, pride in growing their own vegetables and harvesting, and socialization while gardening. These themes describe the reasons why the participants like to garden,

Conclusion: Food security is an issue among refugee communities. Access to a garden and the produce from a garden provides fresh, affordable food. Gardening increases physical activity and consumption of healthy produce. Future intervention will include methods to encourage other vulnerable populations to participate in gardening.