Assessing process and outcomes: evaluating community-based participatory research.

Plumbline Coaching and Consulting, Inc.
Progress in community health partnerships: research, education, and action 01/2008; 2(2):85-6, 87-97. DOI: 10.1353/cpr.0.0020
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) Community Research Collaboration (CRC) Awards fund research projects conducted by partnerships between community members and academically trained research scientists.
We sought to determine the relationship, if any, between the collaborative process of conducting the CRC projects and reported outcomes.
Community and academic researchers from the first seven CRC full award projects were interviewed in one-on-one, standardized, semistructured telephone interviews. Twelve of thirteen eligible community partners and all nine eligible academic partners were interviewed (some teams had multiple community or academic partners). Interview questions covered four major types of outcomes (improved methodology [four items], benefited community [sixitems], benefited researchers [three items], or influenced health services and policy [five items]) and three major aspects of the partnership (collaboration among partners [three items], group dynamics [five items], and community involvement [two items]). Process and outcome scores for each team were compared using a scatter plot graph.
Teams were most effective at improving the quality of research methodology, providing benefits to the participating community agency, and answering questions important to the communities involved. Areas of difficulty for the teams included collaborative data analysis, power sharing, and managing the impact of turnover. Although the projects varied in the measures of the partnership process, the three teams that had the highest outcome scores also had the highest scores for the partnership process.
Although the relationship between process and outcomes is not necessarily causal, these results suggest an association worthy of further investigation.

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