Background: For 10 years, the Deep South Network for Cancer Control (DSNCC) focused on training and deploying community health advisors (CHAs) to promote cancer screening and healthy lifestyle through education/outreach activities. In 2009, the request for application (RFA) for renewal of the DSNCC required a controlled research intervention. Converting from education/outreach to research proved more problematic than expected.

Objectives: The objective of this article was to describe the challenges and solutions during this conversion and to describe the importance of education/outreach to community infrastructure.

Methods: This is a qualitative assessment of the challenges and solutions encountered in conducting a controlled weight loss trial in a community setting in which education/outreach had been the priority.

Lesson Learned: The DSNCC provides a model for overcoming the unique challenges of converting a longstanding education/outreach program into a controlled research program.

Conclusion: Although multiple challenges were encountered in conducting a community-based participatory research (CBPR) controlled trial, solutions were developed and the trial continues as proposed.


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pp. 33-39
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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