Background: Stakeholder engagement is crucial for conducting high-quality implementation research as well as for the incorporation and adoption of health interventions and policies in the community.
Objectives: This study sought to build a mutually rewarding collaboration between stakeholders in Vietnam and investigators in the United States.
Methods: A collaboration was established between investigators from several institutions in Vietnam and the University of Massachusetts Medical School that was built on mutual trust, cross-cultural learning, and shared experiences. This collaborative arrangement has led to sustainable stakeholder engagement in Vietnam. We formed a multidisciplinary transnational research team and maintained regular contact both online and in person. We also conducted a needs assessment study, in which several focus group discussions and in-depth interviews of stakeholders in Vietnam were carried out.
Results: The formal collaboration between investigators in Vietnam and the University of Massachusetts Medical School began in 2011 and has strengthened over time. The U.S. team provided expertise in study and intervention design, data collection and analysis, and trial implementation, whereas the team in Vietnam brought a deep understanding of local health care delivery systems and expertise in the delivery of health care interventions at the grassroots level. Our initial partnership has now grown to include committed individuals at the government, academic, and community levels including the Vietnam Ministry of Health, key governmental and nongovernmental research institutions and agencies, medical and public health universities, and communities in rural settings. The needs assessment study found that there are important gaps in the delivery of hypertension management practices in many rural communities in Vietnam and that stakeholders are fully engaged in our ongoing, community-based, hypertension-control project.
Conclusions: Multiple layers of stakeholders and communities in Vietnam are fully engaged with, and have contributed significantly to, our ongoing hypertension control research project in Northern Vietnam.
Copyright © 2019 World Heart Federation (Geneva). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.