Best-Practice Strategies for Engaging Community Stakeholders and Patients as Partners in Research

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Community engagement and Community-Engaged Research are viewed as the cornerstones to improving health and reducing health disparities in underserved and underrepresented communities. This approach to research facilitates collaboration between community stakeholders and researchers and provides an opportunity for community stakeholders to participate in research decision-making and implementation. Establishing partnerships through community-engagement also provides a unique opportunity to increase trust in research among community stakeholders representing underserved populations.

The ability to establish strong partnerships between community stakeholders and academic researchers produces better information and strategies about how to improve health. Yet, transition from traditional research models wherein the academic partner dictates the direction of a project to an approach where academic and community partners are viewed as equals, can be a challenge. Subsequently, there is an impetus to educate researchers who are new to conducting community-engaged research on effective strategies for engaging community stakeholders.

Researchers with limited understanding of and experience with effective methods of engaging communities will benefit from an interactive learning activity where there is an opportunity to learn about successful strategies for engaging community stakeholders and an opportunity to collectively think through steps of implementing these strategies in their respective academic environments. The objectives of this learning lab are to: 1) provide researchers and community partners with strategies for engaging community stakeholders as research partners; 2) provide a forum for discussions on challenges and facilitators for successfully partnering with community stakeholders; 3) discuss strategies for implementing and sustaining partnerships for conducting community-engaged research. Examples of strategies to be discussed are: 1) making active efforts to learn about the participants and their context; 2) establishing lines of communication; 3) building community capacity; 4) establishing community advisory committees; and 5) creating an iterative process when deciding upon research goals and grounded research question(s).


Advancing the Science of Community Engaged Research Conference


Washington, D.C.