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Study finds way to improve community research partnerships
A recent study details strategies for improving community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships by training local leaders in research practices and human subjects research protection.1
With CBPR partnerships, local organizations can improve their ability to seek grant funding and conduct independent research and improve perceptions of research among marginalized communities, including immigrant populations.
Investigators developed a three-pronged intervention that promotes education, training, and dialogue about human subjects protection. They worked with local leaders to design an occupational health assessment for immigrant workers in Somerville, MA. The project included training bilingual teen educators to conduct surveys within the immigrant population as a way to build trust and bridge cultural barriers.
The community education included providing education about historical examples of research abuse, followed with examples of how IRBs work and why research subjects now have much stronger protections against harm.
Researchers acknowledged how immigrant populations face unique risks when participating in an occupational health study, including risk of legal action, risk of alienation from peers, and risk of exposure in the cases of undocumented individuals.
The study recommends that IRBs involve community partners as early as possible to promote greater understanding and cooperation, and it acknowledges the importance of having constant communication between IRBs, community partners, and researchers.