Exploration of the development, implementation, and value of digital storytelling for older adult clients of a community-based organization: a case study
Background: Emerging evidence on DST for older adults suggests positive findings that lend support for providing older adults with opportunities to participate in DST; however, such opportunities are limited. For community service providers interested in bringing a digital storytelling (DST) approach for older adults into their organization, a more contextual and nuanced understanding is required of how the engagement of older adults in DST can be supported. Stemming from a mutual interest in DST for older adults, this participatory-research (PR) project was undertaken collaboratively with a local community-based organization in the context of their DST project. Purpose: To advance understanding of the perspectives and experiences of older adult clients and of service providers with regard to the development, implementation, and value of DST for older adults served by a community-based organization. Methods: Using a single instrumental case study design and qualitative description, individual semi-structured interviews explored the experiences and perspectives of an older adult client and a DST facilitator on the process of creating a digital story for the older adult client. A focus group explored the experiences and perspectives of service providers about the process of developing DST opportunities for older-adult clients of their organization using a PR approach. Findings: A general inductive approach to analysis led to the development of three themes: (a) DST takes place in the context of a person-centred approach; (b) understanding the multi-faceted benefits of DST for older adults; and (c) developing DST opportunities for older-adult clients of a community-based organization: meso-level perspectives of service providers. Conclusions: This study provides insight into DST implementation in the context of a person-centred approach, the value of DST for older adults, and how a community-based organization new to DST approached introducing DST to their older adult community using a PR approach. Potential implications for the community-based organization where the study took place are discussed. Additional insight into the application of a PR approach in occupational therapy and the value placed on the relationship with community partners, as well as the fit for DST with occupational therapy practice, is illustrated.
Digital Storytelling, Participatory Research, Older Adults, Case Study