|Cuy Castellanos, Diana|
Submitted to: Journal of Health Promotion Practice
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/27/2009
Publication Date: 9/28/2011
Citation: Downey, L.H., Cuy Castellanos, D., Yadrick, K., Avis-Williams, A., Graham-Kresge, S., Bogle, M.L. 2011. Perceptions of community-based participatory research in the delta nutrition intervention research initiative:an academic perspective. Journal of Health Promotion Practice. 12 (5): 744-752. Interpretive Summary: To facilitate community members’ engagement in community-based participatory research, community members need education about the research process and research ethics. A community research workshop was developed to provide community training on research for community members engaged in the USDA ARS supported Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative. A evaluation of the workshops using pre/post-questionnaires show the workshop stimulated empowering attitudes or behaviors among community members currently participating in research activities. Further testing of the workshop, especially among those with limited research experience, is warranted to determine its impact of increasing knowledge about the research process and research ethics and empowered involvement in research projects.
Technical Abstract: Lower Mississippi Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative (Delta NIRI) is an academic-community partnership between seven academic institutions and three communities in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. A range of community-based participatory methods have been employed to develop sustainable nutrition intervention strategies.The methods used were focus groups were conducted with 22 faculty and staff from the academic partners on the project to document their perceptions of community-based participatory processes in a federally funded, multi-academic-community partnership spanning a decade. Focus groups were transcribed and analyzed using the constant comparitive method. Two researchers analyzed each transcript independently and reached consensus on the consistent themes. The findings were participants candidly shared their experiences of working with community members to devise research plans, implement programs, and evaluate outcomes. The majority of faculty and staff were attracted to this project by an excitement for conducting a more egalitarian and potentially more successful type of research. Yet, each academic partner voiced that there was an underlying disconnect between community practices and research procedures during the project. Additional barriers to collaboration and action, located in communities and academic institutions, were described. Academic partners stressed the importance of open and on-going communication, collective decision-making strategies, and techniques that support power-sharing between all parties involved in the project. In conclusion, findings from this reasearch can infrom academic-community partnerships and hopefully improve the community-based participatory research process implemented by academic institutions and communities.