Background Photovoice is a powerful qualitative method for community-based participatory research (CBPR), identifying violence and related risk behaviors that affect community safety through the eyes of residents, including youth. A systematic literature review was conducted to explore how photovoice has been applied to violence and related studies among youth.
Methods A protocol was developed to specify the search strategies, inclusion criteria and data extraction methods. Then, a search including three concepts (photovoice, youth and violence-related topics) was conducted across five databases: PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, and Web of Science, resulting in 254 records. After the removal of duplicates in EndNote, 150 records were screened on the titles and abstracts. Then full texts of eligible studies were screened for a second-round assessment.
Results A total of 19 articles were identified, of which, 14 studies used qualitative design while others used mixed-methods design. Most studies had no more than 20 participants (n=10). Moreover, 13 articles described the use of the SHOWeD method to facilitate their group discussion or photo explanation and 9 studies addressed the methods of dissemination: Photo exhibits (n=7), video (n=2), PowerPoint presentation (n=2), colored newsletter (n=1).
Of the 19 articles, 13 addressed their reasons of using photovoice to youth: 1) photovoice is a powerful tool in youth participatory action research (YPAR) and community-based participatory research (CBPR) by capturing community-level information through the eyes of youth (n=7); 2) photovoice allows youth, especially vulnerable youth to express their opinions, identify issues important to them and develop their critical thinking for social action (n=7); 3) photovoice is not constrained by languages and therefore more attuned to youth culture (n=1).
Conclusion To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic review of photovoice in violence and related topics. It provides the evidence and rationale of using photovoice to youth participants.