Monday, October 22, 2007

Community Based Participatory Research

What is "Participatory Research" and why is it valuable?

"To be effective, researchers need feedback from the community about its needs," says Dr. Carol Horowitz of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. "It is important that community groups be clear about their priorities. It's really common sense," she says. "Don't go into a community to fix something unless you've asked them what they need. You can't fix people—you have to work with people."

How Is Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Different?

In CBPR, the community memebers play a direct role in the design and conduct of the research study.

This process is accomplished by:
  • Bringing community members into the study as partners, not just subjects.
  • Using the knowledge of the community to understand problems and to design activities to improve interventions.
  • Connecting community members directly with how the research is done and what comes out of it.
  • Providing immediate benefits from the results of the research to the community that participated in the study.
  • In CBPR, community members are also involved in getting the word out about the research and promoting the use of the research findings. This involvement can help improve the quality of life and health care in the community by putting new knowledge in the hands of those who need to make changes.

This was taken from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website:

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