Translating community-based participatory research principles into practice

Jessica G Burke, Sally Hess, Kamden Hoffmann, Lisa Guizzetti, Ellyn Loy, Andrea Gielen, Maryanne Bailey, Adrienne Walnoha, Genevieve Barbee, Michael Yonas
Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action 2013, 7 (2): 115-22

BACKGROUND: Although academics are trained in research methods, few receive formal training in strategies for implementing equitable community engaged research. Academics and their community partners can benefit from such direction and assistance as they establish and maintain community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships. Research partners from the University of Pittsburgh, the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, and the House of Ruth Maryland, one of the nation's leading domestic violence centers serving Baltimore and the surrounding areas, joined together to design, implement, and evaluate a series of activities to increase local CPBR capacity.

OBJECTIVES: This article provides an overview of process and findings from two CBPR workshops jointly held for academic and community members and explores specific suggestions from the workshop participants about how to put the CBPR principles into practice to promote community engaged research to address intimate partner violence (IPV).

METHODS: Twenty-four academic and community partners with experience addressing IPV participated in the two workshops. Facilitators led discussions based on the core CPBR principles. Participants were asked to interpret those principles, identify actions that could help to put the principles into practice, and discuss challenges related to CBPR approaches for IPV research. Observational notes and transcripts of the discussions and workshop evaluations are summarized.

RESULTS: The CBPR principles were interpreted and revised through consensus into common language that reflected the group discussion of the core CBPR principles. Workshop participants provided a range of actions for putting the principles into practice and identified the need for sensitivity in relation to IPV research. A majority of participants felt that the workshop generated novel ideas about how they could use CPBR in their own work.

CONCLUSIONS: Translating CBPR principles into common, action-oriented language is a useful first step when building a new academic-community research partnership.

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