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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2009 Feb;23(1):16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.apnu.2008.02.008. Epub 2008 Oct 15.

An ethnographic approach to interpreting a mental illness photovoice exhibit.

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School of Nursing, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.


The aim of this study was to explore the use of photovoice as an innovative methodology for understanding aspects of the mental illness experience. Applied ethnographic methods were used to examine 15 photographs and accompanying narratives from a mental illness photovoice exhibit. Analysis occurred within and across cases, resulting in individual case studies and a thematic description of the narratives. Suffering, stigma, and loss of identity were found at the center of this rendering of mental illness experience. The findings suggest that a photovoice project offers a useful lens from which to examine experiences associated with living with mental illness.

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