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Keywords:

  • participatory research;
  • qualitative research;
  • arts-based methods;
  • children;
  • health care

Abstract

A central concern when conducting qualitative health research with children is eliciting data that genuinely reflect their perspectives. Invariably, this involves being child-centered and participatory. Drawing and photography increasingly accompany dialogic methods to facilitate children's communication through arts-based and verbal modes of expression. However, little literature is available on how arts-based tools shape data. We suggest that researchers need to be attentive to how such tools can liberate, constrain and frame data generated by children, drawing attention to the promises of such approaches as well as the conundrums that can arise from their use. We explore the place for participatory, child-centered, arts-based approaches using examples of the use of drawing and photography in our own studies. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 36:95–107, 2013