The value of audio-visual data and approaches to its analysis

Authors: Taylor, A.M., Ryan, K, Alexander, J and van Teijlingen, E

Conference: 29th International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress

Dates: 19-23 June 2011


Audio-visual techniques to record interviews have been used in midwifery research focusing on the analysis of discourse (Powell Kennedy et al. 2006; Ryan et al. 2010). The value of video diaries as an innovative method of data collection has previously been demonstrated in research recording patients’ perspectives of illness. Video images produced first-hand accounts of the illness, experienced over a prolonged period, providing valuable insights into the lived experiences of people in the context of their daily lives including their attitudes, thoughts, beliefs and behaviours (Rich et al. 2000; Gibson et al. 2007). Visual data from video recording can provide enhanced detail that even the participant may be unaware of (Knoblauch 2009).

Drawing on data from a PhD study using video diaries to record women’s experiences of breastfeeding, this paper aims to defend visual data as a legitimate source of research evidence and to generate discussion about its analysis. Advantages and disadvantages of analysis approaches will be discussed and illustrated with video clips.

Empowering women to collect visual data of their embodied experiences of breastfeeding within their own sociocultural context using daily video diaries is ground-breaking research within midwifery. This approach involves mapping the visual onto the oral data, to ensure that body language, nuances in speech and depth of emotions are also identified, analysed and interpreted, generating an understanding of the multi-faceted nature of breastfeeding. This has not been revealed through analysis of discourse alone. Given the cultural shift to publish video footage on YouTube and reality TV, people are becoming accustomed to their experiences being viewed by others. In order to capitalise on this new visual age, researchers need to embrace new methodologies but the analysis is complex. Research sponsored by Bournemouth University and video cameras by the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Alison Taylor