Background: Despite widespread agreement on the necessity of protecting human subjects, questions regarding ethical treatment and protection of human subjects remain and are particularly vexing for community-based participatory research (CBPR). There has been a notable lack of attention paid to what type of training should be provided and how to balance "real-life" concerns with official requirements.

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how, in consultation with the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) at our institution and our community partners, we developed training that overcame concerns related to instruction of community workers on protection of human subjects.

Methods: We developed a training module written in lay terms and containing only information pertinent to non–key personnel and their role in the CBPR project. We designed and piloted this material in collaboration with our community partners who work with us to recruit and train lay health advisors (LHAs) and oversee the day-to-day operations of the CBPR project.

Results: The educational module was presented to the community workers as a part of a day-long training session. The written materials were a part of a notebook of information accompanied by an oral Power Point presentation. Each of the workers was given a written test to evaluate knowledge of the content presented. The test was administered by the project director, a community member herself, and then sent to our institution for grading by personnel not involved in this project. To date, all community workers have passed the written test.

Conclusions: The community members, research partners, and the ORI are satisfied with the scope and simplicity of the training program developed. Our team's collaborative approach to community-based human subjects training contributes to advancing a grounded, feasible, and rigorous process of protecting human subjects while implementing CBPR ideals.


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pp. 257-265
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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