Background: The purpose of the Community Alliance for Research Empowering Social change (CARES) training program was to (1) train community members on evidence-based public health, (2) increase their scientific literacy, and (3) develop the infrastructure for community-based participatory research (CBPR).
Objectives: We assessed participant knowledge and evaluated participant satisfaction of the CARES training program to identify learning needs, obtain valuable feedback about the training, and ensure learning objectives were met through mutually beneficial CBPR approaches.
Methods: A baseline assessment was administered before the first training session and a follow-up assessment and evaluation was administered after the final training session. At each training session a pretest was administered before the session and a posttest and evaluation were administered at the end of the session. After training session six, a mid-training evaluation was administered. We analyze results from quantitative questions on the assessments, pre- and post-tests, and evaluations.
Results: CARES fellows knowledge increased at follow-up (75% of questions were answered correctly on average) compared with baseline (38% of questions were answered correctly on average) assessment; post-test scores were higher than pre-test scores in 9 out of 11 sessions. Fellows enjoyed the training and rated all sessions well on the evaluations.
Conclusions: The CARES fellows training program was successful in participant satisfaction and increasing community knowledge of public health, CBPR, and research methodology. Engaging and training community members in evidence-based public health research can develop an infrastructure for community-academic research partnerships.