Picturing Arctic Health Disparities: Engaging with Arctic Youth Through Visual Media to Transmit and Translate Knowledge About Helicobacter pylori Infection.

Lead Author Megan, Highet
Institution Contact CANHelp Working Group Division of Gastroenterology Department of Medicine University of Alberta 5-033 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1C9 CANADA
Co-Authors Karen J. Goodman, University of Alberta, Canada. The Fort McPherson H. pylori Project Planning Committee, Canada. The CANHelp Working Group, University of Alberta, Canada.
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.4 Art, Design, Media and the Arctic - Marginalization, Power and Manifestations for Change
Datetime Fri, Sep 16, 2016 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Youth represent an important but under-represented group in community-based health research, particularly with regard to studies situated in arctic regions. Connecting with this age group is essential for successfully addressing health disparities, such as the elevated prevalence of H. pylori infection and associated digestive diseases observed among Aboriginal residents of artic Canada. Yet, researchers have nevertheless been hesitant to engage in participatory research with youth in this context. Literature on the topic of involving youth in ethnographic research often attributes this underrepresentation to researchers’ misconceptions regarding the capacities and competencies of non-adults as active research participants. The resultant marginalization of youth was addressed by members of the Fort McPherson H. pylori Project Planning Committee, who requested that local youth be provided with opportunities to participate in research being carried out by the Canadian North Helicobacter pylori (CANHelp) Working Group within their community. Consequently, a photovoice project was developed to explore local knowledge of the impact of H. pylori infection upon health and wellness. A capacity-building component was also incorporated into this project, wherein youth who complete training in basic photography skills and ethnographic methodology will receive a certificate in recognition of their achievement. The photographs produced through this project will have multiple applications. As rich visual texts, these images can be ‘read’ as primary data sources for academic research; however photographs are also particularly well suited for knowledge translation activities. Given the power of visual media to condense information and meanings and thereby facilitate mental imagery of varied perspectives, outputs of photovoice projects (often showcased in gallery style presentations) also support the transmission and translation of diverse views and values in a manner that transcends cultural, socioeconomic, and geopolitical divides. Thus, this methodology has furthermore proven effective for conveying local perspectives and priorities to a wide array of stakeholders.
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