Bridging Research, Accurate Information and Dialogue (BRAID): A novel strategy to build community trust

Online Publication Date:
September 26, 2023
Publication Status:
Awaiting Publication
Manuscript PDF File:

**Forthcoming in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 18.2. All rights reserved.**


Background: Efforts to promote COVID-19 vaccination uncovered the effects of longstanding structural racism and perpetuated the erosion of community trust in science and public healthinstitutions. Rebuilding trust is a priority to overcome barriers to vaccine uptake. Bridging Research, Accurate Information and Dialogue (BRAID) is a model that combines several evidence-based approaches to nurture trusting relationships with community experts, leading to the dissemination of accurate, timely, and acceptable COVID-19 vaccine messages.
Objective: To describe an innovative community-engaged participatory research model with the potential to build trust and spread accurate health information through social networks.
Methods: BRAID provided safe spaces for a series of facilitated conversation circles involving trusted community experts and invited clinicians and scientists. Community experts were encouraged to share their experiences, raise concerns, and ask pandemic-related questions in an informal setting. Community experts were empowered to codesign and coproduce accurate health messages acceptable to their communities. To gain insight into the process of building trust, dialogues involving 22 community experts were transcribed and coded, and post survey data from 21 participants were analyzed.
Conclusions: BRAID is a manualized community engagement model that aims to build the trust needed to improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake in historically marginalized communities. Through BRAID, participants developed increased trust in health systems and research. By empowering community experts to share information through their established social networks, BRAID has the potential to amplify the reach and impact of communications regarding health topics that are controversial and divisive, such as COVID-19 vaccination.