Future Directions

Evaluative research is needed to examine the relative costs, benefits, and effectiveness of CBPR and other types of public health research. For example, relative to nonparticipatory research studies that do not involve partnerships with community residents or organizations, to what extent are findings from CBPR studies more likely to be disseminated to diverse audiences and to be translated into useful outcomes such as improvements in policy?36 The evaluation of CBPR approaches to address public health concerns would be facilitated by enhancing ongoing systematic literature reviews such as the Guide to Community Preventive Services (www.thecommunityguide.org) so that community-engaged studies— and CBPR studies in particular—are distinguished from those that are not community engaged.

Another future direction is the need for additional CBPR studies involving adolescents and elders who are in the oldest decades of life. For a variety of health topics, the vast majority of published CBPR studies have involved adults or recently retired persons. However, studies indicate that CBPR approaches can successfully address the health concerns of teenagers7,8,26,37-47 and people who are in the oldest decades of life.48,49 Community-based participatory research is an effective approach for addressing disparities in both adolescent health and gerontology.

Future directions should include additional CPBR studies of adult-onset chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity involving communities in middle-income countries such as India, China, and Brazil, where the prevalence of overweight and obesity is rising rapidly.50 In addition, CBPR projects that have been conducted to address malaria in low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa should be translated to address other arthropod-borne diseases such as Chikungunya virus infection and Zika virus infection.51,52

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