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Community-Based Participatory Research Strategies for Addressing SDOH

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is characterized by the collaboration and participation of community members, researchers, and community organizations to achieve health equity through social actions. Community-based partnerships allow for researchers to consider the impact of culture, language, geography, and location when conducting research in different rural and remote locations. CBPR uses research methods that help researchers build trust within communities, and allows community members to participate in all stages of the research process. Developing a sense of understanding for regional and cultural nuances is made possible via CBPR.

CBPR research strategies help empower community members to address local challenges, including health disparities. This research approach has been found to be a promising way to address social determinants of health (SDOH). CBPR builds upon community assets and helps residents identify strengths as well as opportunities for action. For example, CBPR has helped American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations be more involved and better understand the value of cancer research. When conducting research about SDOH in rural communities, it can be even more important to engage community members in the planning and development phases to increase their likelihood to participate and stay engaged throughout the course of the study. Different methods may also need to be used to recruit enough participants, especially in harder to reach locations. Efforts have been made at the community, state, and regional levels to impact SDOH through academic-community partnerships, a common type of CBPR. These partnerships allow higher education institutions to use their resources to support community projects that are addressing SDOH and improving overall well-being.

Resources to Learn More

Strategies to Empower Communities to Reduce Health Disparities
Document
Defines empowerment and provides examples of its application in communities. Discusses specific strategies for policymakers to use to empower communities.
Authors(s): Thompson, B., Molina, Y., Viswanath, K., et al.
Citation: Health Affairs, 35(8), 1424-1428
Date: 8/2016

Supplement 1: Addressing the Social Determinants of Health through Academic-Community Partnerships
Document
Highlights innovative research and interventions conducted by the Mid-South Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities Research. Included articles focus on efforts to reduce health disparities by addressing SDOH.
Citation: Ethnicity & Disease, 27(Suppl 1)
Date: 2017