• Open Access

Visual Voices: A Participatory Method for Engaging Adolescents in Research and Knowledge Transfer

Authors

  • Michael A. Yonas Dr.P.H.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
    • Department of Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
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  • Jessica G. Burke Ph.D.,

    1. Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
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  • Elizabeth Miller M.D., Ph.D.

    1. Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
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Correspondence: MA Yonas (May24@Pitt.edu)

Abstract

Integrating the expertise and perspectives of adolescents in the process of generating and translating research knowledge into practice is often missed, yet is essential for designing and implementing programs to promote adolescent health. This paper describes the use of the arts-based participatory Visual Voices method in translational research. Visual Voices involves systematic creative writing, drawing, and painting activities to yield culturally relevant information which is generated by and examined with adolescents. Qualitative data products include the created artistic products and transcripts from group discussions of the content developed and presented. Data are analyzed and compared across traditional (e.g., transcripts) and nontraditional (e.g., drawings and paintings) media. Findings are reviewed and interpreted with participants and shared publicly to stimulate community discussions and local policy and practice changes. Visual Voices is a novel method for involving adolescents in translational research though Integrated Knowledge Transfer (IKT), a process for bringing researchers and stakeholders together from the stage of idea generation to implementing evidence-based initiatives. Clin Trans Sci 2013; Volume 6: 72–77

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