Online Program

Community capacity building for community based participatory research through training: Implementation and evaluation of the community research fellows training program

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Melody S. Goodman, PhD, Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
Tanya Funchess, DHA, MPH, MSM, Office of Health Disparity Elimination, Mississippi State Department of Health, Ridgeland, MS
Candice Green, MPH, Office of Health Disparity Elimination, Mississippi State Department of Health, Ridgeland, MS
Vetta Thompson-Sanders, PHD, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO
Background: Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has emerged as an evidence-based approach to address health disparities.  The Community Research Fellows Training (CRFT) Program increases community capacity to engage in CBPR and promotes the role of underserved populations in the research enterprise.  In 2014, the CRFT program was implemented in 2 urban communities (St. Louis, MO and Jackson, MS) plagued by racial health disparities.

Methods: Community advisory boards and steering committees were developed for each region (St. Louis, Jackson).  CRFT consists of 15 didactic training sessions and experiential workshops based on a standard Masters of Public Health curriculum, taught by multidisciplinary faculty.  At each training session pre- and post-tests, and evaluations were administered. In addition, a baseline assessment, mid-training evaluation, and final assessment/evaluation were administered. Evaluations were also administered to CRFT faculty after their teaching session.

Results: 39 participants were selected for the St. Louis cohort and 27 for the Jackson cohort. High completion rates (97% St. Louis; 93% Jackson) and 100% completion rate on all homework assignments across cohorts demonstrates participant interest in program topics. Higher scores on post-test compared to pre-test and final assessment compared to baseline assessment suggest increased knowledge of participants.  Evaluations indicated high program satisfaction from participants and faculty.

Discussion: CRFT program data suggests that the curriculum enhances community knowledge of public health research and trains community members to become critical consumers of research. Successful implementation in two different locations suggests that the model can be adapted in other communities interested in addressing disparities using CBPR.

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the development of infrastructure and community capacity needed to engage in CBPR

Keyword(s): Community-Based Research (CBPR), Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As an Epidemiologist and the program director for targeted programs at the Mississippi Department of Health, I have directed several programs that are dedicated to training and educating community members on key public health concepts. I am responsible for the successful implementation of the Community Research Fellows Training (CRFT) and the sustainability efforts after the completion of the program. The goal of CRFT is to impact the health of the community.
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.