All three CBPR projects presented in this symposium are set in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Region. Minnesota, a traditionally homogeneous state, is now one of the top states for refugee settlement in the United States, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area is now a hub for Southeast Asian and East Africa immigrants and refugees. The first paper uses an asset-based community development approach to discover cultural health assets of Somali and Oromo communities. In this project, community asset mappers conducted 70 interviews with community members residing in a high-density refugee community, and conducted two focus groups. The cultural health assets revealed in this study, including religious beliefs and practices, prominence of oral traditions, the use of proverbs and religious tolerance, are being used as the basis for the development of culturally relevant interventions. The second paper describes a randomized controlled trial to assess the acceptability and effectiveness of a culturally relevant video-based colorectal cancer screening intervention in comparison with typical written interventions for Vietnamese Americans. This study found that both groups increased in knowledge and attitudes towards cancer screening, and that there was a 20% increase in obtaining a cancer screening. These findings suggest that the intervention type might be less important than whether the intervention is culturally and linguistically appropriate. The final paper uses a mixed-method approach based on social capital and socio-ecological frameworks to explore the housing situation in Hmong, Karen, Liberian, Oromo and Somali refugee communities for use in designing a policy intervention and advocacy tool for refugee families. This study found that cultural barriers, failure of timely service provision, and low-help seeking were risk factors for resettlement and housing stability. Secondary migration was strongly associated with low social capital and tended to lead families to aggravated housing insecurity.
This symposium provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate the wide variety of research methods that can used within the CBPR approach as well as to highlight the importance of strong, ongoing community research partnerships, which is a cornerstone of the CBPR approach. Further, these papers demonstrate how a vital factor in CBPR projects is the use of research findings for developing culturally appropriate interventions, which is of key importance for refugees and immigrants.