174266 Social capital and belief systems within the community advisory board of a community-based research study

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Alma Celina Vega, MSPH , Demography, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Steven P. Wallace, PhD , School of Public Health, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Martin Y. Iguchi, PhD , Drug Policy Research Center, RAND, Santa Monica, CA
Antronette Yancey, MD, MPH , Kaiser-Permante Center for Health Equity, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is gaining popularity in research and program development in health promotion for older adults. The basic principles of CBPR include engaging community members and researchers in research production equally, building local capacity, and achieving a balance between research and action. However, because of their often radically different backgrounds and belief systems, researchers often find it difficult to share decision-making power with community members in community advisory boards (CABs). Oftentimes, the principles of academic research create dynamics of power that favor researchers. This research provides a case study analysis of one CAB's experience developing a diabetes health education intervention in one predominantly Latina/o community. Using Putnam's theory of social capital and French and Raven's theory of power and influence, this analysis examines the language used by CAB members from community and research backgrounds to assess how each group's values changed in the process of working with the CAB. It also examines how each group's differing forms of social capital affected CAB dynamics. The results suggest that core values do not have to change in order for individuals from different backgrounds to work effectively in a CAB. On the contrary, CAB members from different backgrounds can utilize their respective forms of social capital to create a stronger and more powerful CAB. In this analysis, researchers used their understanding of the scientific method to strengthen the CAB's empirical effectiveness and community members used their understanding of the intervention community to design more appropriate and feasible intervention plans.

Learning Objectives:
1.) Understand power relations between researchers and community members in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). 2.) Assess how Community Advisory Boards (CABs) manage the conflict between science and communities. 3.) Examine how CABs grapple with the ethical challenges of conducting CBPR.

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have master's degree in community health sciences and 3 years of work experience in community-based research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.