Community based participatory research (CBPR) and Community Engaged Research (CEnR) is growing rapidly in the U.S. and internationally as a core approach to reduce health inequities. Despite this rapid growth, there is little to no national consensus on measures or metrics of partnering practices, nor on the promising or best practices that contribute to research, community capacity and system changes, or health outcomes. Without internal evaluation and self-reflection, adoption of best practices for partnership quality improvement and health impact is limited.
In 2015, the University of New Mexico Center for Participatory Research received funding for “Engage for Equity: Advancing Community Engaged Partnerships” (from the National Institute of Nursing Research, 2015-2020; 1R01NR015241-01A1) to extend the science of CBPR and CEnR. “Engage for Equity” supports the refinement of measures and metrics for partnering practices and outcomes, and the creation and implementation of a Toolkit and Trainings to strengthen partnership practices to reach research, capacity and health equity goals.
It builds from the recently-completed NIH study, “Research for Improved Health (RIH),” where we tested our CBPR Conceptual Model; developed and psychometrically validated quantitative process and outcome measures; and created a Toolkit of promising practices associated with outcomes from our data. Available are: RIH survey instruments; focus group and interview guides; project codes of ethics; publication lists; translations of the model in Spanish and Portuguese; and adaptations and use of the model by other research groups http://cpr.unm.edu/research-projects/cbpr-project/index.html.
Specific Aims for “Engage for Equity: Advancing Community Engaged Partnerships” are:
- To reconvene national Think Tank of academic and community CEnR/CBPR experts for their oversight and guidance;
- To refine, translate into Spanish, and test finalized metrics and measures with up to 400 federally-funded partnerships; and
- To conduct a randomized control trial comparing an interactive training intervention and partnership evaluation and self-reflection toolkit for 40 partnerships (4 trainings with 10 partnerships each) versus access to Toolkit materials and resources on the web.
Phase One of E2 Study: Data Collection and Analysis
In Phase 1, we refined measures, translated them into Spanish, and have collected data using two internet surveys from 179 CBPR and community-engaged 2015 federally-funded research projects across diverse communities and health issues in the U.S. 59% of the projects were intervention studies, serving 57% African-American, 43% white, 45% Hispanic/Latino, and 17% Asian communities, with many serving multi-racial/ethnic populations. Partnerships that completed the Key Informant Survey (KIS) and at least two Community Engaged Surveys (CES) have been randomly allocated to be invited to our Partnership Reflection Workshops in the fall of 2017. In early 2018, we will conduct surveys with 50 newer CBPR/CEnR projects. From the total 379 federally-funded partnerships from E2 and previous RIH studies, we have identified promising practices associated with and contributing to a range of intermediate capacity/system, and long-term health and health equity outcomes.
Phase Two of E2 Study: Workshops and Web Intervention
In September and October 2017, Phase 2 launches our Partnership Reflection Workshops and our E2 Website of reflection and evaluation tools for partnerships who completed at least two Community Engaged Surveys in phase one. All projects will receive access to resources in workshops or on the web, including: the Partnership River of Life/Historical Timeline, use of the CBPR Model as a visioning guide for planning or evaluation, Partnership Data Reports, and the Promising Practices Guide, among other tools to strengthen partnering. The E2 website will become open to the public in the future, hosted by our partner, Community Campus Partnerships for Health.
- Community of Practice of CBPR and Community Engaged Research practitioners
- CBPR Conceptual Model useful for partnership planning and self-reflection
- Psychometrically-validated partnering practice and outcome metrics and measures in English and Spanish
- Tested associations between promising partnering practices and a range of research, community capacity, and health outcomes
- Partnership workshop facilitation guide
- Partnership Evaluation and Reflection Toolkit with useful tools and resources