The benefits of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and its use in the violence field is the focus of a recent commentary paper published in the journal Psychology of Violence.
Lead author Dr. Nicole Yuan, associate professor of health promotion sciences at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and colleagues stated the use of CBPR can contribute to increased development of innovative and sustainable violence prevention programs, services, and policies that are uniquely informed by scientific evidence and community expertise.
The commentary was informed by responses from informal interviews that the team of authors conducted with community partners from across the country to understand their perspectives on using and participating in research. Several recommendations were identified in the paper: conduct research that is useful to communities, with a focus on evidence-based practices and cost-benefit analyses; involve community partners early in the development of research questions to ensure that local needs are addressed; engage in frequent and open communication and maintain transparency about research goals and roles and responsibilities of each partner; provide benefits to communities during the research process to promote professional development and build capacity; and disseminate findings quickly, using outlets accessible to communities, and translate into strategies for practice.
The authors concluded that by emphasizing partnerships with communities, CBPR helps to reduce the gap between research and practice and facilitates the inclusion of community strengths and resilience as valuable components of violence prevention and intervention.