Participatory Methods for Climate Change and Mental Health Research: Photovoice in Nepal
Background: The relationship between mental health and climate change are poorly understood. Participatory methods represent ethical, feasible, and culturally-appropriate approaches to engage community members for mental health promotion in the context of climate change. Aim: Photovoice, a community-based participatory research methodology uses images as a tool to deconstruct problems by posing meaningful questions in a community to find actionable solutions. This community-enhancing technique was used to elicit experiences of climate change among women in rural Nepal and the association of climate change with mental health. Subjects and methods: Mixed-methods, including in-depth interviews and self-report questionnaires, were used to evaluate the experience of 10 women participating in photovoice. Quantitative tools included Nepali versions of Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and a resilience scale. Results: In qualitative interviews after photovoice, women reported climate change adaptation and behavior change strategies including environmental knowledge-sharing, group mobilization, and increased hygiene practices. Women also reported beneficial effects for mental health. The mean BDI score prior to photovoice was 23.20 (SD=9.00) and two weeks after completion of photovoice, the mean BDI score was 7.40 (SD=7.93), paired t-test = 8.02, p<.001, n=10. Conclusion: Photovoice, as a participatory method, has potential to inform resources, adaptive strategies and potential interventions to for climate change and mental health.
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Rights for Collection: Masters Theses