September 21, 2008

Partnerships to Address Obesity Disparities in Hawai‘i: The PILI ‘Ohana Project

Andrea H. Nacapoy, M.A., Joseph Keawe‘aimoku Kaholokula, Ph.D., Margaret R. West, M.P.A., Adrienne Y. Dillard, Anne Leake, Ph.D., APRN-Rx, B. Puni Kekauoha, Donna-Marie Palakiko, R.N., M.S., Andrea Siu, B.A., Sean W. Mosier, B.A., and Marjorie K. Mau, M.D. [on behalf of the PILI ‘Ohana Project]

Hawai‘i Medical Journal

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an approach to scientific research that is gaining broader application to address persistent problems in health care disparities and other hypothesisdriven research. However, information on how to form CBPR community-academic partnerships and how to best involve community partners in scientific research is not well-defined. The purpose of this paper is to share the experience of the Partnership for Improving Lifestyle Interventions (PILI) `Ohana Project in forming a co-equal CBPR community-academic partnership that involved 5 different community partners in a scientific research study to address obesity disparities in Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Peoples (i.e., Samoans, Chuukese, and Filipinos). Specifically, the paper discusses 1) the formation of our community-academic partnership including identification of the research topic; 2) the development of the CBPR infrastructure to foster a sustainable co-equal research environment; and 3) the collaboration in designing a community-based and community-led intervention. The paper concludes with a brief summary of the authors’ thoughts about CBPR partnerships from both the academic and community perspectives.

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