Participatory Public Health Research: The Process of Community Engagement in Research Partnerships



An Excerpt



There is growing recognition of the appropriateness, importance, and value of Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) in the field of public health. Implemented rigorously, CBPR enhances the relevance and use of the data (Israel et al., 2005; Viswanathan et al., 2004; Minkler and Wallerstein, 2003). This paper describes a design which engaged, from the outset and in all phases of the research process, members from migrant communities (the target communities) and key stakeholders from multiple sectors, representing and serving them in a research partnership with academic researchers. This paper draws on the findings (minutes of meetings, qualitative observation, stakeholder discussion, and evaluative data) of a two-year research study of structural influences on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) in migrant African communities in London, the results of which have been published elsewhere (Marais, 2007).

This study used a multi-method CBPR design, combining quantitative and qualitative methods with an integrated framework to evaluate the process and outcome of the research partnership. The emphasis here is on the pivotal components of the design — the engagement of community participants (members from the target communities) as Community Advisory Panel (CAP) partners and/or Community Research Fieldworkers (CRFs).

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