Building Relationships Between Community Care Professionals and Convenience Stores in Japan: Community-Based Participatory Research

Online Publication Date:
March 6, 2022
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**Pubslished in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) 17.1. All rights reserved.** ABSTRACT Background: Convenience stores play an important role in supporting community-dwelling older adults’ lives. We started community-based participatory research (CBPR) in Nerima City, Tokyo Metropolitan area in Japan to develop a collaborative relationship to support older adults in the community-based integrated system. Objectives: This study aimed to describe the CBPR process and evaluate building face-to-face relationships between health/social care professionals and the owners/employees of convenience stores. Methods: Using CBPR, health/social care professionals in community general support centers (CGSCs) directly approached convenience stores based on the public support agreement between the convenience store chain company and the municipality. To evaluate the face-to-face relationship building between convenience store owners/employees and CGSCs’ staff, we administered questionnaire surveys to convenience stores in Nerima City and two control cities from 2017 to 2019, and about 100 convenience stores completed the survey each year. Results: Statistical analyses showed significant improvements in their knowledge for relationships with the CGSCs in Nerima City, including “knowledge of the CGSCs’ function” (p = 0.001), “knowing individual professionals in the CGSCs” (p = 0.023), and “knowledge of when to contact the CGSCs” (p = 0.002), compared to control cities. Helping behavior for older adults at convenience stores also increased significantly in Nerima City (p = 0.034). Conclusions: The CGSCs’ direct approach based on the public support agreement would effectively promote building relationships at convenience stores, leading to an age-friendly community.