I recently submitted the following paper about community-based participatory research (CBPR). For those who are not familiar with CBPR, it’s a “postnormal” approach to qualitative research by involving stakeholders, from the target community, in the whole research approach. Here is a Wikipedia link about CBPR.
By Ali Al-Rajhi
Discussing Community Based Participatory Research in relation to obesity
Citation for the main paper :
Goh, Y., Bogart, L.M., Sipple-Asher, B.K. et al. (2009). Using community-based participatory research to identify potential interventions to overcome barriers to adolescents’ healthy eating and physical activity. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 32(5), 491-502.
Key Points from Goh et al. (2009):
Goh and his research team implemented a community-based participatory approach (CBPR) to explore barriers to healthy eating and physical activity amongst adolescents. Through the CBPR approach, community participants (adolescents, parents, stakeholders) provided possible intervention ideas to address obesity amongst adolescents. The research follows the nine CBPR principles as defined by Israel, Eng, Schulz, and Parker (2005) in their book “Methods in Community-Based Participatory Research for Health”:
1) Acknowledgement of community
2) Builds upon strengths within the community
3) Facilitates collaborative partnerships
4) Fosters capacity building
5) Achieves benefits for all partners
6) Focuses on locally relevant health issues
7) Systems development
8) Dissemination of results
9) Long-term sustainability
Key Point 1: Involving the community in intervention development leads to increased program effectiveness and sustainability since community is heavily invested in the intervention development process. For example, Goh et al. (2009) demonstrate that a CBPR approach leads to the design of a more effective school based intervention that address obesity in adolescents
Key Point 2: CBPR is useful for identifying interventions that are acceptable to community members; “community involvement in intervention development and testing is essential for program effectiveness and sustainability” (Goh et al, 2009).
Key Point 3: Data from focus groups can identify important topics and themes of the community (e.g., Los Angeles Unified School District) and lead to the development of interventions that address the community’s issue (e.g., eating barriers and physical activity barriers). For example, findings from Goh’s research suggest that effective school-based interventions to improve healthy eating should improve both the food and beverage offered in school cafeterias and nutrition labeling.
Key Point 4: Data from CBPR initiatives may provide stronger support for policy change (Goh et al, 2009).
Citation for the comparison paper:
Bidwell, D. (2009). Is community-based participatory research postnormal science? Science, Technology & Human Values 34(6), 741-761.
- Bidwell’s article extends the ideas presented by Goh as he suggests that CBPR is a response “to the shortcomings of normal science” within the health research community (e.g., low participation and lack of trust of out researchers). Goh states that “prior research (in relation to adolescent obesity) has not elicited a broad range of community views” (Goh et al., 2009). In other words, not many health initiatives, such as obesity prevention interventions, have involved community members to the level that CBPR has done. CBPR allows community members to be directly involved in “doing the science” which will benefit the community’s health (Bidwell, 2009).