sábado, 8 de agosto de 2015

Community Engagement in Health-Related Research: A Case Study of a Community-Linked Research Infrastructure, Jefferson County, Arkansas, 2011–2013

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Community Engagement in Health-Related Research: A Case Study of a Community-Linked Research Infrastructure, Jefferson County, Arkansas, 2011–2013

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Community Engagement in Health-Related Research: A Case Study of a Community-Linked Research Infrastructure, Jefferson County, Arkansas, 2011–2013

M. Kathryn Stewart, MD, MPH; Holly C. Felix, PhD, MPA; Mary Olson, DMin; Naomi Cottoms, MA; Ashley Bachelder, MPH, MPS; Johnny Smith; Tanesha Ford, MA; Leah C. Dawson, MS; Paul G. Greene, PhD

Suggested citation for this article: Stewart MK, Felix HC, Olson M, Cottoms N, Bachelder A, Smith J, et al. Community Engagement in Health-Related Research: A Case Study of a Community-Linked Research Infrastructure, Jefferson County, Arkansas, 2011–2013. Prev Chronic Dis 2015;12:140564. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd12.140564.


Underrepresentation of racial minorities in research contributes to health inequities. Important factors contributing to low levels of research participation include limited access to health care and research opportunities, lack of perceived relevance, power differences, participant burden, and absence of trust. We describe an enhanced model of community engagement in which we developed a community-linked research infrastructure to involve minorities in research both as participants and as partners engaged in issue selection, study design, and implementation.
Community Context
We implemented this effort in Jefferson County, Arkansas, which has a predominantly black population, bears a disproportionate burden of chronic disease, and has death rates above state and national averages.
Building on existing community–academic partnerships, we engaged new partners and adapted a successful community health worker model to connect community residents to services and relevant research. We formed a community advisory board, a research collaborative, a health registry, and a resource directory.
Newly formed community–academic partnerships resulted in many joint grant submissions and new projects. Community health workers contacted 2,665 black and 913 white community residents from December 2011 through April 2013. Eighty-five percent of blacks and 88% of whites were willing to be re-contacted about research of potential interest. Implementation challenges were addressed by balancing the needs of science with community needs and priorities.
Our experience indicates investments in community-linked research infrastructure can be fruitful and should be considered by academic health centers when assessing institutional research infrastructure needs.

Conceptual framework of the infrastructure.
Figure. Conceptual framework of the infrastructure. [A text version of this figure is also available.]


The authors thank the connectors, the members of the research collaborative and of the community advisory board, and the technical support of the registry received from the UAMS Translational Research Institute’s Comprehensive Informatics Resource Center. We also express our appreciation to Dr Robert Price, Assistant Director of Regional Programs for Research, for his support as our practice partner in the infrastructure. This work was supported by NIH grant no. A1-37154-01, NIH CTSA grant no. 8UL1TR000039, and Arkansas Prevention Research Center, Center for Disease Control and Prevention Grant no. U48 DP001943.

Author Information

Corresponding Author: M. Kathryn Stewart, MD, MPH, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham St, Slot 820, Little Rock, AR 72205. Telephone: 501-526-6625. Email: stewartmaryk@uams.edu.
Author Affiliations: Holly C. Felix, Ashley Bachelder, Leah C. Dawson, Paul G. Greene, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas; Mary Olson, Naomi Cottoms, Tri County Rural Health Network, Inc, Helena, Arkansas; Johnny Smith, Shiloh Baptist Church and Ten Thousand Black Men, Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Tanesha Ford, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.


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