246678 Community contexts and “participatory starting points”: Adapting CBPR to improve the health and working conditions of immigrant workers

Monday, October 31, 2011

Charlotte Chang, DrPH, MPH , Labor Occupational Health Program, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Pamela Tau Lee , School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Shaw San Liu , Chinese Progressive Association, San Francisco, CA
Alex T. Tom , Chinese Progressive Association, San Francisco, CA
Alicia Salvatore, DrPH , Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Megan E. Gaydos, MPH , Environmental Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
Robin Baker, MPH , Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Meredith Minkler, DrPH , Department of Health and Social Behavior, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Berkeley, CA
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has increasingly been used by health educators to better understand and improve the health of diverse communities. A key strength of CBPR is its adaptability to community contexts and characteristics. Few studies, however, have explicitly explored contextual variables such as patterns of civic and political participation, or the “participatory starting points,” of a community and the corresponding adaptations made by partnerships to CBPR principles and processes to facilitate equitable participation. The concept of “participatory starting points,” may be of special importance to immigrant communities whose members have historically had lower rates of civic participation in the United States. Using qualitative and quantitative evaluation data collected by the San Francisco Chinatown Restaurant Worker Health Project, this presentation examines the links between the contexts of a Chinese immigrant worker community, adaptations made by its CBPR partnership to facilitate engagement, and project outcomes. Health educators analyzed data from multiple sources, including in-depth interviews, a closed-ended partnership survey, and participant observation. Models of CBPR “processes to outcomes” (Wallerstein et al., 2008) and literature on immigrant civic and political incorporation (Bloemraad, 2006; Verba, Schlozman, & Brady, 1995) guided the analysis and interpretation. Findings to be shared include accounts of language barriers, economic and social marginalization, civic skills, and participation. Subsequent partnership adaptations, such as creating safe spaces for participation through training, skills development, consciousness-raising, and negotiation of meeting structures will also be discussed as strategies for promoting equitable participation and capacity building in health education and CBPR work.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Learning objectives: 1. Identify three major contextual factors facing immigrant communities that may present challenges to participating in a CBPR effort. 2. Name two adaptations that partnerships may make to CBPR practices when taking into consideration different participatory starting points. 3. Identify one benefit and one possible tradeoff to making such adaptations.

Keywords: Immigrants, Community Participation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conducted the data collection and led the data analysis and presentation process on the study as part of my dissertation research. I continue to conduct such research and evaluation activities in the area of occupational health and safety.
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.