Innovations in Health Promotion and Community-Based Participatory Research

Community-based participatory research is not a specific qualitative or quantitative research method but rather an orientation to research; there is no single approach to CBPR. Rather, this orientation to research encompasses an array of diverse approaches to community-based research that have been refined and improved over time. Innovation in community-based research and the development of creative approaches for engaging and empowering community members are hallmarks of CBPR, as they have been over the past decade or two.4

The incorporation of photovoice, a method of telling personal community stories through photographs, into CBPR studies highlights the creativity of the CBPR approach.4-21-23 Photovoice is especially useful as a method of health needs assessment and fits well with CBPR principle of equitable partnership. When Casteden et al.24 used photovoice in a CBPR project conducted with an indigenous community in Canada, the researchers found that the process was culturally relevant, fostered trust between researchers and community members, and created a sense of ownership regarding the information that was collected.24 Other researchers have incorporated community arts events into CBPR projects. Chung et al.25 collected survey data at art events in an African American community in Los Angeles as part of a CBPR project on depression care. The researchers used photography exhibits, group discussions, and story readings as catalysts for responses that were obtained through the survey.25

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