There is a growing recognition that “traditional” research approaches have failed to solve complex health disparities, and so while results seem to have arrived at acceptable “solutions,” the “target” audiences appear not to respond in kind. In addition, traditional researchers often complain about challenges in trying to recruit “research subjects.” These challenges are often a result of community members feeling that researchers have used them and taken findings away for the researchers benefit (e.g., scholarly papers) but the community is left with no direct benefit.
Community-based participatory research (CBPR), which has its roots in social and political movements of the 1940s, provides a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change.
This talk will discuss the parameters of the method and provide one case study of how this approach was applied in a youth obesity prevention campaign to hopefully stimulate a discussion about its applicability for existing research projects in our areas.