The Society for Social Work and Research

2013 Annual Conference

January 16-20, 2013 I Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina I San Diego, CA

Community Based Participatory Research with Medically Underserved Populations: Lessons Learned

Saturday, January 19, 2013: 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Nautilus 2 (Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina)
Cluster: Health and Disability
Symposium Organizer:
Annemarie Conlon, PhD, MBA, LCSW, Virginia Commonwealth University
The literature on health disparities due to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, gender, SES and geographical location has been growing.  These authors have identified gaps throughout the health care trajectory beginning with prevention and continuing through screening, treatment and survivorship.  Education and access to health care are emphasized as primary concerns.  In general, these disparities are considered consequential to the higher incidence and mortality rates of underserved communities. Although disparities have been identified, traditional research methodologies have proven unsuccessful in eliminating them.  Subsequently, community-based participatory research (CBPR) was introduced to the health field in the 1990s with the overall aim to improve health outcomes and eliminate these disparities.  CBPR is a research approach that includes the equitable involvement of community stakeholders and academic scholars for the purpose of addressing a topic of importance to the community.  As described by Sarah Gehlert from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, CBPR is the “combining of scientific rigor with community wisdom, reality, and action for change.”    

This symposium addresses the use of CBPR for cancer education, prevention and/or improved health outcomes with three traditionally underserved communities, i.e. African American women, Hispanic/Latina women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identified women.  Researchers from Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee discuss their utilization of the CBPR approach to develop and test the effectiveness of providing a breast cancer educational program to underserved African American women in Memphis, TN, and surrounding areas.  Researchers from Catholic University of America discuss their CBPR approach of evaluating the impact of the Nueva Vida service model through examining the self-efficacy, psychological distress, and quality of life of Latinas in the Washington, DC area (i.e., MA, VA, and DC).  Lastly, a researcher now at the Virginia Commonwealth University discusses the utilization of the CBPR approach to increase breast and cervical cancer education, participation in preventive screenings (i.e. mammograms and pap tests), and follow-up care among under- and uninsured lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identified women in Houston, TX.

These researchers will present the process and outcomes of the CBPR  approach along with lessons learned, including the development and maintenance of a collaborative relationship; challenges and opportunities; obtaining funding; the utilization of social work and academic skills; and best practices for establishing CBPR with other sites and communities.

* noted as presenting author
Community Based Participatory Research with Underserved African American Women with Breast Cancer: Lessons Learned
Kathleen Darby, PhD, Middle Tennessee State University; Cindy Davis, PhD, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Community Based Participatory Research with Underserved Latina Women with Breast Cancer: Lessons Learned
James Zabora, ScD, National Catholic University; Karlynn BrintzenhofeSzoc, PhD, The Catholic University of America
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