March 15, 2019

Advancing Community-Based Participatory Research to Address Health Disparities in Hawai’i: Perspectives from Academic Researchers

Katherine I. Yang MPH; Jane J. Chung-Do DrPH; Loren Fujitani MPH; Alyssa Foster MSW; Shannon Mark MEd; Yuito Okada PhD; Zeyana Saad-Jube PhD, MPH; Fadi Youkhana MS; Kathryn L. Braun DrPH; Kevin Cassel DrPH; Susana Helm PhD; Lana Sue Ka‘opua PhD, LSW; Peter J. Mataira PhD; Christy Nishita PhD; Scott K. Okamoto PhD; Angela U. Sy DrPH; Claire Townsend Ing DrPH; Kristine Qureshi PhD, RN, CEN, PHNA-BC, FAAN; and Karen Umemoto PhD

Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) continues to be recognized as an effective research approach in which academic researchers work in partnership with communities to address health disparities. Although the literature suggests benefits associated with CBPR, more needs to be done to advance CBPR to ultimately reduce health disparities. Hawai‘i presents a research-rich opportunity for CBPR because of its ethnic diversity and geographic location, resulting in close-knit communities with unique experiences and concerns. This study aims to better understand the experiences of academic researchers who are conducting CBPR in Hawai‘i and their perceptions of its benefits and challenges as well as recommendations to advance the field. Twelve academic researchers with Hawai‘i-based CBPR experience were interviewed. Four major themes emerged from their responses: the importance of prioritizing relationship-building; reciprocal learning and other benefits of CBPR; navigating the tensions between CBPR and funding priorities; and building an academic setting that supports CBPR. Increasing awareness of CBPR and its benefits, as well as transforming the culture in all spaces where CBPR occurs may maximize its potential to ultimately promote health equity.


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