Methodological reflections of a student and community-based partnership on operationalizing CBPR model: Recommendations for building, securing, and sustaining partnerships

Online Publication Date:
February 21, 2022
Publication Status:
Published Article MUSE Link:
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**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) volume 16.3. All rights reserved.**

Background: Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an approach that values community expertise and ownership in creating knowledge. This approach's success is challenged by inherent cultural imbalances, making it difficult to sustain partnerships and build from what has been learned from a project as it develops. As student researchers and community members, we reflected on the challenges in CBPR and give guidance to future novice researchers pursuing CBPR.
Objectives: From the application of an initial CBPR model as a framework to our partnership, we propose empirical avenues to continuously adapt the CBPR approach.
Methods: A CBPR partnership between McGill's Family Medicine Graduate Student Society and Share the Warmth, a community-based organization aiming to fight poverty and hunger, was formed to collaboratively assess a music program offered in a socioeconomically disadvantaged community. The partnership process was based on a model that we conceptualized in three phases of our framework: building, securing, and sustaining. We reflect on the facilitators and challenges of this project and propose solutions to overcome identified barriers within the context of our partnership.
Results: We highlight the importance of integrating student partners in the community, reevaluating formal research agreements, and coordinating the transition of new partners in this adaptive CBPR model. We argue that this systematic and reflexive process has made the model especially useful as a framework for student and community partnerships.
Conclusion: We propose adaptive components to the CBPR model. Our recommendations could help other partnerships cultivate CBPR to be more applicable in community health research.