Researchers conducting photographic chronic health and disaster study

December 01, 2020
Researchers are exploring how adults with chronic health conditions and caregivers of those with chronic health conditions are managing their physical and mental health after experiencing a disaster during COVID-19. This information will help researchers understand more about the lived experience of individuals navigating disaster recovery and how to best promote health during future disasters. 
Participants who agree to be part of this University of Pennsylvania research study must have been directly affected by a disaster since March 1 (e.g., flood, hurricane, derecho, wildfire), be over the age of 18, and either: 

* Have one or more chronic health conditions. For the purpose of this study, chronic health conditions are broadly defined as having any health-related concern that is long lasting and impacts your daily life (e.g., multiple sclerosis, asthma, heart disease, cancer, diabetes), or

* Be a caregiver of an adult or child who has a chronic health condition. 
Caregivers are broadly defined as a person who gives care for individuals who need help taking care of themselves. Caregivers may be family members, friends, health professionals, social workers, or members of the clergy. They may give care at home or in other healthcare settings.

The online survey will ask participants to complete three photography tasks and reflect on these tasks. It will take about 20 minutes to complete and is anonymous. Information will be kept confidential. Only code numbers will be used for storing photographs. Photographs will be stored on a double password protected dropbox. To protect privacy, a participant’s real name will never be used. You will not be identified when the results of this study are written or when these photographs are published in an online exhibition. 

Photographs gathered through this study may be used to create an online photography exhibit to build community and highlight the themes gathered through this research. By uploading photographs, participants permit the researchers and the University of Pennsylvania the right to use those images for this event as well as for other educational purposes. This includes but is not limited to academic manuscripts, scientific conferences, and additional public exhibitions. By submitting photographs, participants must also understand they will not receive any additional payment or any other compensation in connection with the pictures and must release the University of Pennsylvania or any partnering institutions from any and all liability that may or could arise from the taking or use of the pictures.

Those who provide an email address at the end of the survey will be entered into a lottery to receive one of four $50 Amazon gift cards. The lottery winner will receive their gift card via email on Dec. 1.

For questions about this study, contact Laura Sinko at Additionally, participants may contact the Office of Regulatory Affairs with any questions, concerns or complaints at the University of Pennsylvania by calling 215-898-2614 or

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