Session: Meaningfully Involving Community in the Research Process: A Scoping Review (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

262 Meaningfully Involving Community in the Research Process: A Scoping Review

Saturday, January 18, 2020: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
Marquis BR Salon 10, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement (RD&M)
Becca Keo, MSW, University of Houston, Samira Ali, PhD, LMSW, University of Houston and Katie McCormick, University of Houston
Research is often limited to peer-reviewed sources, excluding knowledge from communities that is often considered invalid and/or not reliable. Thus, from a critical perspective, peer-reviewed research is constructed by dominant groups not impacted by the topic of focus and therefore colonizing. As such, in working toward racial and social justice, it is imperative to decolonize the ways in which research is generated to allow for the expansion of sources of information to include the wisdom of communities with lived experience. A scoping review lends itself to a decolonizing approach. It is a preliminary research method that synthesizes existing research and identifies gaps in available research on a particular topic area. There is a need, however, to outline the ways in which a decolonizing scoping review can be accomplished so that the framework is more accessible to social work researchers. Thus, the aims of this roundtable are to discuss: a) the importance of utilizing a decolonizing approach to gathering, synthesizing, and sharing knowledge; b) the key processes to implement a decolonizing scoping review.

Authors conducted a decolonizing scoping review to explore the intersection of HIV and trauma-informed care in the Deep U.S. South, an under-researched topic area. The scoping review methodology included the following six stages: 1) identifying search questions; 2) developing strategies for identifying sources; 3) selecting sources; 4) charting data collected from selected sources; 5) synthesizing information gathered; and 6) consultation with communities disproportionately impacted by HIV throughout the entire process. Using their experiences, the three authors will discuss lessons learned and best practices to describe the Center's approach and use of a decolonized scoping review process in an effort to bridge social justice work and evidence-based practice.

Through a collective and iterative reflection process, the team set forth in initiating a scoping review to better align with our Center's values of Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV (MIPA) and Racial Justice principles. Two themes emerged from the scoping review process: 1) solicitation and meaningful integration of community-driven and culturally-rooted wisdom fostered wellness for disproportionately impacted individuals who contributed to the scoping review process; and 2) the team reflected on their roles as scholars within an academic institution, and how their privileged positions and identities situate them in HIV advocacy and solidarity work alongside and in collaboration with communities disproportionately impacted. A decolonizing approach to the scoping review process facilitated the critical analysis of social and systemic inequities, and the unpacking of sociocultural, historical, and political factors that influence HIV research, practice, and policy.

While impactful information can be gleaned from peer-reviewed sources of knowledge, they often do not capture the entire scope of the issue. Communities and their experiences are often systematically erased through rigid requirements of traditional literature reviews. Collaboration with and incorporation of community into research can lead to the advancement of understanding, enhancement of services, and the implementation of more racially and socially just practices.

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