Unspoken phenomena: using the photovoice method to enrich phenomenological inquiry
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Photovoice is a powerful method that is gaining momentum in nursing research. As a relatively new method in nursing science, the situatedness of photovoice within or alongside various research methodologies in a single study remains in a stage of early development. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the photovoice method as a means to elicit phenomenological data when researching the lived experience. While the foundational bases of phenomenology and photovoice differ substantially, the argument presented in this paper suggests that the photovoice method can be successfully used in phenomenological inquiry provided that significant rigour checks are pursued. This includes reflecting upon the origins and understandings of both methodology and method to promote methodological congruency. Data collection and analysis approaches that contribute to phenomenological inquiry using the photovoice method in addition to rigour and ethical considerations are discussed. The use of data generated from photovoice in phenomenological inquiry may fill a void of understanding furnished by limitations of traditional phenomenological inquiry and of spoken language and can enhance understanding of the lived experience, which may not always be best understood by words alone.
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