"I Took the Photograph Just to Show You a Little Bit of Perspective": Photo-Elicitation Interviewing With Family Caregivers in the Dementia Context
Photo-elicitation interviewing (PEI) is a well-known approach in qualitative inquiry. Yet existing literature lacks sufficient information on participants' perspectives on using photographs to explicate their experiences and ways in which their captured photographs can enhance understanding of the phenomenon under study, especially in the dementia context. In this article, I report on participants' experiences of partaking in the auto-driven approach of PEI in a qualitative descriptive study on family caregiving experiences to a relative living with dementia. Five family caregivers participated in the PEI process and provided 28 photographs that represented their experiences. Using thematic analysis, an overarching theme, facilitated deeper shared understandings was identified, underpinning three main themes about the participants' experiences of PEI, i.e., it 1. promoted more in-depth reflection and new perspectives; 2. enabled richer dialogue; and 3. revealed complex and otherwise hidden experiences. Findings show that PEI is an effective method for researchers to further understand the complex and multifaceted experiences involved in caring for a relative, living with dementia. Thoughtful implementation of using participant-taken photographs in interviews can provide a richer level of understanding and the means through which family caregivers can contribute to meaning-making relevant to the relational aspects of caregiving in the dementia context.
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