Recommendation 5: Establish a Community Advisory Board

CABs involve stakeholders from various arenas including education, health care, childcare, public health, local churches, community service agencies, and the general community. These community members often serve as validation and advocacy for the research team. They lend instant credibility to the researchers, which is essential in gaining access to communities that have been underrepresented in research and perhaps not familiar with or trusting of academia or the research process (McHenry et al., 2015; Mendez-Luck et al., 2011). In addition to serving as advocates for both the community and researchers, CABs also advise study investigators on recruitment and retention strategies and other study procedures. This includes suggestions for recruitment sites and strategies for how best to tailor recruitment and retention efforts in order to increase the chances of finding and keeping potentially eligible participants. This targeted approach helps to eliminate additional time and expense involved in screening large numbers of noneligible community residents. In addition, CABs can also advise on how to communicate effectively and how to build trust within the population of interest.

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