Engaging the Community in Research

The National Stakeholder Strategy for Achieving Health Equity calls for improving data on health disparities by addressing the low number of racial and ethnic minorities that participate in research studies, and by paying attention to the integrity of the data collection process. Yet a lack of knowledge about the historical and social context in minority communities continues to be a barrier to better research study design and greater participation. It can also potentially put communities at risk.

The BRITE Center trains current and future researchers on the ethics and responsibilities of working with ethnic minority populations. The center also works to empower community leaders and organizations that are often contact points for research studies so that they can be active participants in survey design and implementation. And the center works directly with community leaders in joint research projects, such as Planning for a Healthier Los Angeles, in order craft solutions that are created by and for the community.

Related Links

Methods for Increasing Recruitment and Retention of Ethnic Minorities in Health Research Through Addressing Ethical Concerns (Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Health Survey Research Methodology, National Center for Health Statistics, 2001.)
Race and Research: Perspectives on Minority Participation in Health Studies (American Public Health Association, 2004)
More on this topic

Current Projects in Development

Training Promotores for Health Research
The promotores model uses highly trained grassroots health workers to educate their own neighborhoods on disease prevention and health and well-being. Residents are recruited and hired from the communities where they live and their effectiveness hinges on the fact that they are trusted members of the community, they understand cultural barriers that the community faces and they are aware of the community’s health needs. The BRITE Center is adapting the promotores model to train community members on research methodology to improve the participation in and quality of research on minority and other underserved communities. Learn more

Past Project Highlights

Flickr Credit - Flickr Creative Commons - ChannoneA Place at the Table – Planning for a Healthier Los Angeles
In 2005 and 2006, the BRITE Center and its community partners engaged in a strategic planning process to identify potential actions and solutions to improve the physical and mental health status, health outcomes, access to care, and quality of care for racial and ethnic minority and immigrant populations in the broader Los Angeles region. The project’s innovative use of technology and concept mapping to gather multiple perspectives produced a comprehensive plan for issues facing the region today. Learn more