Florida Public Health Review

Publication Date



Background and Purpose: Photovoice is a qualitative method that empowers youth to identify community issues and assets through photo-taking and photo discussions. The purpose of this systematic review was to explore the characteristics of studies using photovoice in violence and related topics among youth, and the rationale, strengths and limitations of the photovoice methodology when applied to youth.

Methods: Inclusion criteria, search strategy, and data extraction and analysis plan were specified in advance and documented in a protocol (Registration: PROSPERO-CRD42018087290). The search strategy included three search concepts: photovoice, youth, and violence-related topics. Two rounds of formal searches were executed across the following electronic databases: PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Embase, and Web of Science, using the predefined search terms and strings in the registered protocol. Searching records were screened and selected based on inclusion criteria. Included studies were extracted to a predefined spreadsheet and synthesized narratively.

Results: A total of 23 studies were included in this systematic review, of which, 17 studies described the cameras used for photo taking, 15 studies used the SHOWeD framework for photo discussions, 12 studies provided an in-depth description of the thematic analysis process, and 11 studies addressed dissemination activities and social actions. Most studies mentioned the rationale of using photovoice, stating that it empowered youth to express their concerns on community issues while inspiring their critical thinking for social action in youth participatory action research (YPAR) and community-based participatory research (CBPR). The strengths and limitations of the photovoice methodology were also discussed from the perspective of youth participants, researchers, and communities.

Discussion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic review that provides thorough summaries on the characteristics of photovoice studies on violence and related topics among youth, as well as the strengths and limitations of using the photovoice methodology in these studies.