Qualitative–Geospatial Methods of Exploring Person–Place Transactions in Aging Adults: A Scoping Review
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Purpose: Research exploring how places shape and interact with the lives of aging adults must be grounded in the places where aging adults live and participate. Combined participatory geospatial and qualitative methods have the potential to illuminate the complex processes enacted between person and place to create much-needed knowledge in this area. The purpose of this scoping review was to identify methods that can be used to study person-place relationships among aging adults and their neighborhoods by determining the extent and nature of research with aging adults that combines qualitative methods with participatory geospatial methods. Design and Methods: A systematic search of nine databases identified 1,965 articles published from 1995 to late 2015. We extracted data and assessed whether the geospatial and qualitative methods were supported by a specified methodology, the methods of data analysis, and the extent of integration of geospatial and qualitative methods. Results: Fifteen studies were included and used the photovoice method, global positioning system tracking plus interview, or go-along interviews. Most included articles provided sufficient detail about data collection methods, yet limited detail about methodologies supporting the study designs and/or data analysis. Implications: Approaches that combine participatory geospatial and qualitative methods are beginning to emerge in the aging literature. By more explicitly grounding studies in a methodology, better integrating different types of data during analysis, and reflecting on methods as they are applied, these methods can be further developed and utilized to provide crucial place-based knowledge that can support aging adults' health, well-being, engagement, and participation.
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