Conducting photovoice with binational cancer survivors to identify health behavior change intervention preferences

Online Publication Date:
December 30, 2022
Publication Status:
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**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 17.4. All rights reserved.**


Background: Culturally adapted behavior interventions are needed to support lifestyle behavior change for survivors of cancer.
Objectives: To identify programming preferences of Mexican-origin survivors of breast cancer living on the US/Mexico border.
Methods: We conducted a nine-week photovoice project with survivors of breast cancer in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico exploring viewpoints on food and dietary habits, wellness activities, and preferences for healthy lifestyle intervention programming. Photovoice, a participatory qualitative research technique, provided participants with research skills to document and share their lived experience through photographs. Weekly sessions began with photograph presentations and concluded with group discussion of common themes. Data were analyzed following a thematic content analysis using session notes and written narratives compiled during discussion sessions. 
Results: Survivors (n=6) worked collaboratively with facilitators to identify themes related to diet and physical activity behavior. Connection between food and culture and the importance of enjoying meals with others was emphasized. Primary activity interests included leisure-time recreation that relieved anxiety related to their cancer diagnosis rather than regimented exercise routines. Participants noted the importance of giving and receiving social support and emphasized altruism to support positive mood and self-efficacy during survivorship. Networking and knowledge sharing were considered valuable.
Conclusions: Our findings highlight the importance of collaborative research such as photovoice to gain insights for adaptation of evidence-based lifestyle interventions for Mexican-origin survivors of cancer. Key adaptation considerations include culturally relevant dietary preferences and patterns, physical activities with a strong mind-body connection, and opportunities for social engagement and experience sharing.