Operationalization of community-based participatory research principles: assessment of the national cancer institute's community network programs

Am J Public Health. 2012 Jun;102(6):1195-203. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300304. Epub 2011 Nov 28.


Objectives: We examined how National Cancer Institute-funded Community Network Programs (CNPs) operationalized principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR).

Methods: We reviewed the literature and extant CBPR measurement tools. On the basis of that review, we developed a 27-item questionnaire for CNPs to self-assess their operationalization of 9 CBPR principles. Our team comprised representatives of 9 of the National Cancer Institute's 25 CNPs.

Results: Of the 25 CNPs, 22 (88%) completed the questionnaire. Most scored well on CBPR principles of recognizing community as a unit of identity, building on community strengths, facilitating colearning, embracing iterative processes in developing community capacity, and achieving a balance between data generation and intervention. CNPs varied in the extent to which they employed CBPR principles of addressing determinants of health, sharing power among partners, engaging the community in research dissemination, and striving for sustainability.

Conclusions: Although the development of assessment tools in this field is in its infancy, our findings suggest that fidelity to CBPR processes can be assessed in a variety of settings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Community Networks / standards*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / organization & administration
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / standards*
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Guideline Adherence / standards*
  • Humans
  • National Cancer Institute (U.S.)*
  • Research Design
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States