215910 If it's community-based research, shouldn't it be based in the community?

Monday, November 8, 2010

JoAnn Tsark, MPH , Papa Ola Lokahi, Honolulu, HI
Kathryn Braun, DrPH , University of Hawaii, and Papa Ola Lokahi, Honolulu, HI
Distrust of research is not uncommon among indigenous and minority Americans, who have suffered unequal access to care and unethical research practices. `Imi Hale—Native Hawaiian Cancer Network is a community-based research program to reduce cancer health disparities by developing Hawaiian researchers and facilitating research on culturally appropriate interventions to prevent and control cancer. Guided by empowerment theory, ‘Imi Hale aims to strengthen capacity of Hawaiian individuals and communities to research their own problems and test proposed solutions. In this model, the locus of control is in the community, and academic institutions are held accountable through memoranda and contracts to fill specific roles, for example as Co-Investigator, Research Director, advisor, trainer, or mentor. The results are impressive. We could identify only three Hawaiian researchers in 2000; since then 14+ Native Hawaiians have completed or enrolled in doctoral programs, and Hawaiian junior researchers have completed more than 35 research projects, developed more than 50 new educational curricula and products, and published more than 90 peer-reviewed articles. The community benefits by being firmly in control of the resources, which increases the likelihood that research projects meet community priorities. As research trainees, community members receive tangible benefits, including enhanced knowledge, skills, and capacity, and this program serves as their pipeline to academic programs. This model provides university-based researchers opportunities to demonstrate commitment to the community, and provides them “real” access to community-based samples. Most importantly, this model promotes research that can lead to meaningful improvements in community health.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To describe how a community-based agency led the inititation and conduct of community-based research to reduce cancer health disparities in Hawai`i.

Keywords: Indigenous Populations, Community Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Project Director of Imi Hale, the program about which we are presenting.
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.