A network assessment of community-based participatory research: linking communities and universities to reduce cancer disparities

Am J Public Health. 2010 Jul;100(7):1319-25. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.171116. Epub 2010 May 13.


Objectives: We sought to determine whether a community-based initiative designed to reduce cancer disparities among Pacific Islanders in Southern California increased communications between community-based organizations and university researchers.

Methods: We conducted network analysis among 11 community-based organizations (CBOs) and 5 universities by interviewing 91 and 56 members of these organizations, respectively, at 2 points in time. We estimated random effects probit regression and stochastic actor-oriented network dynamic models.

Results: We found that, during the 2-year study period, CBOs increased their connectedness with one another (b= 0.44; P < .05) and to the universities (b = 0.46; P < .05), but that university researchers did not increase their connectedness to each other or to CBOs.

Conclusions: Cancer awareness, cancer education, and access to cancer services are low among Pacific Island groups, and this study provides an initial attempt to reduce these disparities. Community-based initiatives can strengthen a CBO network, creating the potential for increased community-informed cancer research and improved community access to cancer research resources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Community Networks*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / organization & administration*
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group*
  • Systems Integration
  • Systems Theory*