Date of Conferral





Public Health


Dr. Michael Schwab


Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an increasingly popular form of public health research. However, little is known about the application of CBPR and the levels of involvement for partners in specific phases of the partnership. This phenomenological study addressed the application of CBPR from the perspectives of 7 academic researchers and 6 community members experienced in CBPR. Arnstein's ladder of citizenship participation and the community coalition action theory provided the framework for the study. Semi-structured interviews addressed participants' levels of involvement in the CBPR process, as well as challenges, concerns, successes, and recommendations for improvement. Interview transcripts were analyzed by identifying recurrent themes relevant to the experience of being a CBPR partner. These themes were then used to develop descriptions of their experience. Results indicated that participants knew the term CBPR and had experienced it, but not all participants understood the depth of CBPR and how much bargaining power they could have for their community. Sustainability of partnerships and programs was a major concern. Ethical problems were also raised regarding the long-term commitment to projects and the need for CBPR partnership evaluation. Results may be used to strengthen awareness of the principles of CBPR to advance culturally tailored public health interventions.