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Community-Researcher Partnerships at NIAID HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Sites: Insights for Evaluation and Enhancement


Background: Community engagement has been a cornerstone of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)'s HIV/AIDS clinical trials programs since 1990. Stakeholders now consider this critical to success, hence the impetus to develop evaluation approaches.

Objectives: The purpose was to assess the extent to which community advisory boards (CABs) at HIV/AIDS trials sites are being integrated into research activities.

Methods: CABs and research staff (RS) at NIAID research sites were surveyed for how each viewed (a) the frequency of activities indicative of community involvement, (b) the means for identifying, prioritizing, and supporting CAB needs, and (c) mission and operational challenges.

Results: Overall, CABs and RS share similar views about the frequency of community involvement activities. Cluster analysis reveals three groups of sites based on activity frequency ratings, including a group notable for CAB-RS discordance.

Conclusions: Assessing differences between community and researcher perceptions about the frequency of and challenges posed by specific engagement activities may prove useful in developing evaluation tools for assessing community engagement in collaborative research settings.

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