Background: The Riverwest Health Initiative (RHI) is a community-based participatory action (CBPA)–driven coalition. The group used several action models to create a community health improvement process (CHIP) uniquely suited for the neighborhood. The issues the coalition addressed and the processes used to inform community health improvement are described at the level of an urban neighborhood, including almost 7,000 households in six census tracts.
Objectives: Describe the influence of conceptual models of CBPA on the development of a neighborhood CHIP. Demonstrate the effect of integrating CBPA and CHIP in acquiring locally relevant health information.
Methods: RHI incorporated resident input in developing a health assessment survey to augment epidemiologic data. The survey allowed neighborhood residents to describe their health status, behaviors, and health care utilization. It included perceptions about neighborhood support and safety, mental and emotional health, and other issues not usually captured in available epidemiologic data.
Results: Based on survey results and an iterative process of community input, residents identified health priorities that were more specific to their community than would have otherwise been available from traditional public health data sources. This information was used to inform the strategic planning process.
Conclusions: The CHIP provided local data that helped practitioners to better target scarce resources to the specific health concerns of the community. Linking the processes of CHIP and CBPA allowed the RHI to be informed in an ongoing manner about the neighborhood's strengths and challenges.
Background: Geographic information systems (GIS) are seen as potentially important additions to traditional methods of studying risk factors in maternal and child health, but little is written on actual GIS use by communities. This article describes how one community–university collaboration used GIS for perinatal planning.
Objective: The objective was to determine whether utilizing GIS could help a community to identify risk and develop potential interventions to address perinatal health problems.
Methods: We tested the use of GIS over a 9-month period, using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods. Diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory guided this work.
Results: This collaboration resulted in the development of a perinatal GIS model that helped community members to decide where to focus interventions and in continued use of GIS for planning.
Conclusion: Close collaboration early in the planning process, coupled with the incorporation of DOI theory, is necessary for communities to use GIS to plan perinatal interventions
Background: Connect to Protect (C2P): Partnerships for Youth Prevention Interventions is an initiative that alters the community's structural elements to reduce youth HIV rates.
Objectives: This study details a community resource assessment and describes how resources were evaluated in the context of local needs.
Methods: Fifteen sites developed a community resource list, conducted a brief survey, created a youth service directory, and mapped where disease prevalence and community resources intersected. Sites also completed a survey to review and verify local site findings.
Results: On average, sites identified 267 potential community resources. Sites narrowed their resource list to conduct a brief survey with 1,162 agencies; the site average was 78. Final products of this process included maps comparing resources with risk data.
Conclusions: The evaluation of local resources is an important initial step in partnership development and is essential for the success of health promotion and disease prevention interventions that target adolescents.
HIV/AIDS, community health partnerships, community-based participatory research, community health research, adolescent health services, health promotion
Background: Computer tailoring and personalizing recommendations for dietary health-promoting behaviors are in accordance with community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles, which emphasizes research that benefits the participants and community involved.
Objective: To describe the CBPR process utilized to computer-generate and disseminate personalized nutrition feedback reports (NFRs) for Detroit Healthy Environments Partnership (HEP) study participants.
Methods: The CBPR process included discussion and feedback from HEP partners on several draft personalized reports. The nutrition feedback process included defining the feedback objectives; prioritizing the nutrients; customizing the
report design; reviewing and revising the NFR template and readability; producing and disseminating the report; and participant follow-up.
Lessons Learned: Application of CBPR principles in designing the NFR resulted in a reader-friendly product with useful recommendations to promote heart health.
Conclusions: A CBPR process can enhance computer tailoring of personalized NFRs to address racial and socioeconomic disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Problem: Despite several studies demonstrating the benefits of community–academic partnerships, their value to academic health centers (AHCs) is often viewed with skepticism by some in the academic community.
Purpose: This paper examines the roles of community organizations and the mechanisms by which they can enhance the AHC missions of education, research, and patient care.
Key Points: As lay educators, community organizations can contribute to medical education by exposing students to diverse cultural perspectives. As community advocates, they can facilitate the research process by helping to frame culturally relevant research questions, by ensuring that research
survey instruments are culturally and linguistically appropriate, and that research findings are disseminated to community stakeholders. As lay health workers, they can facilitate health care delivery by providing a link to hard-to-reach populations through their outreach and referral initiatives.
Conclusion: Forming partnerships between community organizations and AHCs can support the missions of AHCs and simultaneously develop and strengthen community capacity.
Background: After Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana State University (LSU) collaborated with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to create the LSU GIS Clearinghouse Cooperative (LGCC) to disseminate geospatial data. From this experience of serving community geospatial data needs for risk communication, particularly in marginalized areas, and through working with the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Remote Sensing and GIS for Public Health (WHOCC), we identified several useful geospatial technologies (GT) and methods for their implementation in risk communication strategies.
Objectives: This article provides an assessment of the benefits and limitations of these technologies for risk communication in marginalized communities.
Methods: Several GT have been employed for risk communication and general data dissemination in communities throughout rural coastal Louisiana. From experimentation with these technologies for risk communication, they can be
classed into three groups: lightweight GIS, map dissemination tools, and interactive GT.
Results: Lightweight GIS and map dissemination tools will, at some point in their application, require the assistance of a GIS expert or GIS data provider to develop and customize the tool for its intended uses. Interactive GT, however, has rapidly developed options that allow user-friendly operation without reliance on expert assistance. Google Maps, however, is showing the greatest potential for community-based health participation.
Conclusions: Classifying the available GT based on functionality is critical to help specialists provide the most effective method for spatial risk communication and to assist community users in creating accessible data for their local health needs.
Background: Many sources of valid knowledge may be relevant to a research question. Communities need a mechanism to explore the full range of knowledge that could enrich community-based research. A knowledge profile (KP) is an integrated description of the knowledge and expertise that, once assembled, can help to explore a research issue.
Objective: This article describes the establishment of a KP as a purposive process whereby the initial research team identifies the kinds of knowledge that can help to articulate and refine a research question, and assemble the right research team and resources.
Method: The KP process is conducted by a core team, which may expand to include additional expertise. The four phases of a KP are (1) creating the research space, (2) articulating and negotiating, (3) identifying the research question, and (4) creating the resource inventory. The process is illustrated by a case study. The outcomes of a successful KP include an inventory of existing and required resources, a strong research team operating in an ethical and safe research space, and clear articulation of the research question. The KP can be revisited regularly throughout a project to evaluate the effectiveness of the research team.
Conclusion: KP provides a road map for community-based research teams to navigate through the early phase of research development.