Voices of Community Partners: Perspectives Gained from Conversations of Community-Based Participatory Research Experiences

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jul 21;17(14):5245. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17145245.


Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has been documented as an effective approach to research with underserved communities, particularly with racial and ethnic minority groups. However, much of the literature promoting the use of CBPR with underserved communities is written from the perspective of the researchers and not from the perspective of the community partner. The purpose of this article is to capture lessons learned from the community partners' insight gained through their experiences with CBPR. A multi-investigator consensus method was used to qualitatively code the transcripts of a CBPR story-telling video series. Seven major themes were identified: (1) expectations for engaging in research, (2) cultural humility, (3) respecting the partnership, (4) open communication, (5) genuine commitment, (6) valuing strengths and recognizing capacities, and (7) collaborating to yield meaningful results. The themes drawn from the community partner's voice align with the tenets of CBPR advanced in the academic literature. More opportunities to include the community voice when promoting CBPR should be undertaken to help introduce the concepts to potential community partners who may be research cautious.

Keywords: action research; community-based participatory research; community-based research; community-engaged research; minority health; participatory research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Community Participation*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research*
  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Research Design