Community-Based Participatory Research

Ann C. Macaulay, Erin Sirett and Paula L. Bush

in Public Health

ISBN: 9780199756797
Published online February 2011 | | DOI:
Community-Based Participatory Research

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Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an approach in which researchers undertake research in partnership with those affected by the issue being studied, for the purpose of taking action or effecting social change; it can also incorporate those who will use the results to change practice and inform policy. This collaborative research approach brings together a wide variety of participants, with their own expertise and their own networks for contributing to the process and disseminating the research findings. CBPR promotes research with communities rather than research on or about communities. “Community” has been described as a group of people sharing a common interest. Cultural, social, political, health, or economic interests link the individuals, who may or may not share a particular geographic association. Thus, community includes many different possibilities, and in the early 21st century it has been also expanded to include communities of practice. The CBPR approach is increasingly recognized as a highly effective method of enhancing relevance and value to health research, and of increasing the uptake of research results. CBPR combines research with education and co-learning to democratize the knowledge production, thus affecting the relevance and quality of the knowledge and the likelihood that it will influence change. The core values include cooperation, with equal contributions from everyone present, and co-learning; promoting systems development; capacity building; and empowerment. Equally important goals are to undertake high-quality research with a high level of scientific rigor, to answer questions and provide benefit to all those working in the partnerships, and to develop knowledge and action that is applicable to other settings. Levels and types of participation vary across research projects, but at all times partners should be working to develop an equitable partnership. In some partnerships, researchers and partners jointly make decisions throughout the research process, including the key processes of finalizing the research question(s), collecting and analyzing data, interpreting the findings, and disseminating the results. Because CBPR is an approach to research (and not a method), it employs all the methods appropriate to the research design, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods.

Article.  14470 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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