Latina immigrants from Mexico suffer significantly increased morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer when compared with non-Hispanic White women, largely owing to lack of screening and appropriate treatment.
To demonstrate that by combining the tools of community-based participatory research (CBPR) with the tools of interpretive inquiry, it is possible to address explicit community concerns surrounding a particular problem such as cervical cancer while also examining what other, perhaps less immediately visible, matters consume the time and attention of community members.
We first briefly discuss and compare CBPR as an approach to research and interpretive inquiry as a qualitative research method. We then provide a case study from our own research using a CBPR approach to examine beliefs and attitudes about cervical cancer prevention among Oregon Latinos. Methods in that study included extensive discussions with our community advisory board (CAB) and promotores (community health workers) regarding barriers to cervical cancer screening for Latinas and community health concerns in general, and in-depth interviews with more than 50 Latino immigrants.
Combining the tools of CBPR with the tools of interpretive qualitative inquiry may allow researchers to address explicit community concerns while also examining what other, less immediately visible, issues consume the time and attention of community members. In our specific case, combining the insights of our community partners with the results of our interpretive analysis helped us shift the focus from cervical cancer alone to a focus on gender relations and family health as we design future interventions.
Progress in community health partnerships: research, education, and action 01/2010; 4(2):149-54. DOI:10.1353/cpr.0.0116