235810 Using a repeated measure, mixed method approach to measuring empowerment as an outcome of a CBPR project

Monday, October 31, 2011

Janine M. Jurkowski, PhD, MPH , Health Policy, Management, & Behavior, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Hal Lawson, PhD , School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, Albany, NY
Mary Bovenzi, MPH (c) , Health Policy, Management, & Behavior, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Ronald Quartimon, MPA , Capital District, Commission on Economic Opportunities, Troy, NY
Kirsten Davison, PhD , Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Our Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) project aimed to develop, implement and evaluate a family-centered childhood obesity prevention project among low income families. A Community Advisory Board (CAB), which was predominantly low income parents of Head Start children, was the key decision making body of the project. Parents, partner organization staff and community members were actively involved in decision making throughout the 2-year project, including the development, implementation and analysis of a community assessment and resulting multi-component intervention. In contrast to CBPR projects with empowerment operationalized as a process measure, empowerment was a key outcome in this study. Even as a process measure, empowerment is an important component of many CBPR projects. Yet the measurement of empowerment is still in its infancy. Empowerment encompasses multiple concepts depending on the definition used. We evaluated empowerment as an outcome of the participatory process using a repeated measures, qualitative and quantitative evaluation. In-depth interviews and surveys were administered at multiple time points to measure psychological and resource empowerment. We will present our partnership structure, describe our operationalized definition of empowerment, explain our measurement approach, and outline concepts we found to be essential components of empowerment. We will present specific components of psychological and resource empowerment and the most effective way we found to measure constructs, drawing on psychometric tests of the quantitative measures. The highlights and pitfalls along with recommendations for future research will also be presented to inform other CBPR researchers and community partners about the measurement of empowerment as a CBPR outcome.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate knowledge of the multiple components of empowerment. Describe a mixed methods and repeated measure approach to measuring empowerment as an outcome. Evaluate the highlights and pitfalls of using this approach.

Keywords: Community Participation, Methodology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an academic researcher and Co-Principal Investigator on this Community-Based Participatory Research project. I am the researchers who worked directly with the community and spear headed the CBPR methods and evaluation.
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.