Document Type


Publication Date



School of Public Health


Health Policy, Management & Leadership


This photovoice study examined the hypothesis that photos and narratives produced by older adults would facilitate the co-construction of a shared narrative about the food access issues in a rural county in West Virginia. For older adults, living in rural areas, several factors decrease access to healthy, nutritious food relative to the general population of older adults. Methods: Qualitative data from interviews, written narratives, dialogues, and photos from older adults living in a rural county of West Virginia. Was collected. Using directed content analysis, transcripts of written data were broken down into meaningful quote segments. All written data and photos were thematically coded using the five dimensions of food access. Results: Community-based participatory research (CBPR) as photovoice brought researchers and older adults together in a deliberative dialogue about rural food access and health. Analysis confirmed that shared photos and narratives among the elderly participants helped to facilitate agreement around problems with rural food access. Difficulties with the accessibility of food exceeded problems with the availability of food where geography includes psychosocial and physiological elements and the willingness of vendors to accommodate problems with restricted mobility and incomes. Conclusions: Public health practitioners and the elderly should benefit from community-based participatory research (CBPR) where photovoice enables an external research team to open up a conversation where community members may explore and co-create an understanding of person-place dynamics, environmental strengths, complex conditions, and policies that influence the lives of the community.

Source Citation

Andress, L., & Hallie, S. S. (2017). Co-constructing food access issues: Older adults in a rural food environment in West Virginia develop a photonarrative. Cogent Medicine, 4(1).


The article is supported by the WVU Libraries' Open Access Author Fund.

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