Participatory action research (PAR): an approach for improving black women's health in rural and remote communities

Josephine B Etowa, Wanda Thomas Bernard, Bunmi Oyinsan, Barbara Clow
Journal of Transcultural Nursing: Official Journal of the Transcultural Nursing Society 2007, 18 (4): 349-57
Women are among the most disadvantaged members of any community, and they tend to be at greatest risk of illness. Black women are particularly vulnerable and more prone than White women to illnesses associated with social and economic deprivation, including heart disease and diabetes. They utilize preventive health services less often, and when they fall ill, the health of their families and communities typically suffers as well. This article discusses the process of doing innovative participatory action research (PAR) in southwest Nova Scotia Black communities. The effort resulted in the generation of a database, community action, and interdisciplinary analysis of the intersecting inequities that compromise the health and health care of African Canadian women, their families, and their communities. This particular research effort serves as a case study for explicating the key tenets of PAR and the barriers to and contradictions in implementing PAR in a community-academic collaborative research project.

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