The power and the promise: working with communities to analyze data, interpret findings, and get to outcomes

Am J Public Health. 2008 Aug;98(8):1407-17. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2007.113571. Epub 2008 Jun 12.


Although the intent of community-based participatory research (CBPR) is to include community voices in all phases of a research initiative, community partners appear less frequently engaged in data analysis and interpretation than in other research phases. Using 4 brief case studies, each with a different data collection methodology, we provide examples of how community members participated in data analysis, interpretation, or both, thereby strengthening community capacity and providing unique insight. The roles and skills of the community and academic partners were different from but complementary to each other. We suggest that including community partners in data analysis and interpretation, while lengthening project time, enriches insights and findings and consequently should be a focus of the next generation of CBPR initiatives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation / methods*
  • Community Participation / psychology
  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Environmental Health / methods
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • New Mexico
  • New York City
  • North Carolina
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Researcher-Subject Relations* / psychology
  • Universities