Using CBPR for Health Research in American Muslim Mosque Communities

Amal Killawi, Michele Heisler, Hamada Hamid, Aasim I Padela
Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action 2015, 9 (1): 65-74

BACKGROUND: American Muslims are understudied in health research, and there are few studies documenting community-based participatory research (CBPR) efforts among American Muslim mosque communities.

OBJECTIVES: We highlight lessons learned from a CBPR partnership that explored the health care beliefs, behaviors, and challenges of American Muslims.

METHODS: We established a collaboration between the University of Michigan and four Muslim-focused community organizations in Michigan. Our collaborative team designed and implemented a two-phase study involving interviews with community stakeholders and focus groups and surveys with mosque congregants.

LESSONS LEARNED: Although we were successful in meeting our research goals, maintaining community partner involvement and sustaining the project partnership proved challenging.

CONCLUSIONS: CBPR initiatives within mosque communities have the potential for improving community health. Our experience suggests that successful research partnerships with American Muslims will utilize social networks and cultural insiders, culturally adapt research methods, and develop a research platform within the organizational infrastructures of the American Muslim community.

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