Community-Based Participatory Research

Ann C. Macaulay, Erin Sirett, Joshua Hamzeh 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 is 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. The CBPR approach is increasingly recognized as highly effective for enhancing relevance and value to health research, and of increasing the uptake of research results. CBPR combines research with education, co-learning, and action to democratize the knowledge production, thus affecting the relevance and quality of the knowledge and the likelihood that it will be used and influence change. The core values include collaboration, with 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, to develop knowledge and action that is applicable to other settings, and to develop equitable partnerships. Levels and types of participation vary within and among research projects, but at a minimum, all stakeholders should participate in decisions regarding (1) identification of the research questions; (2) the methodology, data collection, or data analysis; and (3) use or dissemination of the research findings. Because CBPR is an approach to research (and not a methodology or method), quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods may be used, as appropriate, to respond to the research question(s). It is important to note that, as addressed in the Terminologies section, many labels are used to refer to CBPR. Thus, included herein are works labeled as action research, participatory research, community engaged research, and others. The common thread among the cited works is the community-university research partnership. We would like to thank Erin Sirett, PhD, who was a co-author of the first two editions of this annotated bibliography. The 2017 update was supported by the Quebec-SPOR SUPPORT unit, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. We used the eSRAP© research trends monitoring system, a development of the Quebec-SPOR SUPPORT unit, to identify many of the references included in this update.

Article.  13434 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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