Balancing community and university aims in community-based participatory research: a Pacific Islander youth study

Sora Park Tanjasiri, Lenny Wiersma, Greta Briand, Vaka Faletau, Jonathan Lepule, Lianne Nacpil, Jan Eichenauer
Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action 2011, 5 (1): 19-25

BACKGROUND: Community-based participatory research (CBPR) holds the promise of improving the planning, conduct, and long-term translation of research findings into community settings.

OBJECTIVES: This 2-year, exploratory study applied CBPR structures and processes to the identification of individual, cultural and community factors associated with obesity among Pacific Islander (PI) youth in Southern California.

METHODS: We describe the CBPR principles and strategies used by a community-university partnership to develop, implement, and report on the findings from assessments of obesity, physical activity, and nutritional intake among PI youth.

RESULTS: Although CBPR planning processes led to successes in community-based youth recruitment and retention, we learned key lessons regarding implementation of tailored assessment protocols, often involving problems arising from the university side of the CBPR collaborative.

CONCLUSION: CBPR has its strengths and limits; more studies are needed that report on processes to increase our understanding of how to balance research rigor with community sustainability.

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