Community-based participatory research contributions to intervention research: The intersection of science and practice to improve health equity
A core concept of community based participatory research (CBPR) is that traditional research trials need to be adapted to local settings and ever-changing systems in order to address health equity and social determinants of health in a meaningful way. CBPR can build a bridge between science and community-based practice, as well as balance the power relationship between academic and community research partners. This includes, but is not restricted to, the difference between quantitative vs. qualitative research methods.
In addition to working with a dynamic and complex local setting, the challenges of CBPR include how it applies to other settings, defining what is “evidence”, choosing a mutually understood language and discourse, moving academics out of “business as usual”, the ability to sustain change, and lack of trust between researchers and under-represented communities. The authors make the case that CBPR builds community capacity, develops trust and long-term relationships, emphasizes accountability, and supports adapting interventions to suit the local context (e.g., cultural relevance and project language).
The authors use the term “knowledge hybridity” to describe the integration of knowledge from different sources into a community partnership. They also describe a model of community-based participatory research (from one of their previous publications) that illustrates the multiple dimensions of CBPR.
Use this resource to
- understand how CBPR applies to program design for public health practice;
- deepen your understanding of the challenges of applying traditional research in a dynamic local context; and
- challenge your assumptions about what forms of research are useful to public health practitioners, and how various forms of research can complement each other.
Wallerstein, N. & Duran, B. (2010). Community-based participatory research contributions to intervention research: The intersection of science and practice to improve health equity. American Journal of Public Health 100(1):S40-S46.
Available from the American Journal of Public Health.