If you build it, will they come? Describing the process of building community capacity for intervention research with underserved minority populations

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 3:25 PM

Jennifer Kue, PhD1
Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN1
Barbara Warren, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, PMH, FAAN1
Sharon Marshall, MEd2
Laura Szalacha, EdD1
Madhurima Sarkar, PhD1
Chuck Palm, MPH3
Andrew Pleasant, PhD3
Jennifer Cabe, MA3
Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS4
(1)College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
(2)Eldon and Elsie Ward Family YMCA, Columbus, OH
(3)Canyon Ranch Institute, Tucson, AZ
(4)Canyon Ranch Institute, The Ohio State University College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Canyon Ranch, Tucson, AZ

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe the major steps in conducting community-centered research with underserved minority populations.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify methodological and practical issues to consider when designing and conducting intervention research with underserved minority communities

Purpose:Community-centered intervention research involves active participation of community members at all levels of the research process and, in turn, can enrich the quality of the study, produce more relevant results, and set the stage for programmatic sustainability. At the same time, conducting community-centered intervention research also has unique challenges. This presentation will detail the process of community engagement using the exemplar of adapting the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program™ (CRI LEP) for underserved Midwestern communities. It will also share lessons learned from the process of developing an interdisciplinary research team. Methodological and practical issues related to conducting research with underserved minority populations will be discussed.

Methods:  We sought to formalize a collaborative partnership between The Ohio State University, partners from Columbus Near East Side neighborhood, and the non-profit Canyon Ranch Institute. The Multi-ethnic Community Health Advisory Committee is comprised of key community leaders, community organizers, health advocates, and university researchers. Research team discussions, insights from the advisory committee, and project documents were sources of information about the process of building capacity for intervention research in Columbus’ Near East Side.

Results:  Methodological and practical issues include understanding and prioritizing health disparities in the target population, building community partnerships and support, establishing and working with a community advisory committee, dealing with competing health programs in the community, adapting a validated program to the targeted population, using culturally appropriate materials and methods, and addressing health literacy issues. 

Conclusion:  Comprehensive strategies are needed to ensure the collaboration process is culturally appropriate and equitable. The lessons learned from our experiences can inform future research with underserved minority communities.