Abstract: Reviewing the Literature on Community-Based Participatory Research Team Communication
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an approach to research that works to combat health disparities within marginalized communities (Abma et al., 2017; Brown & Stalker, 2018; Kastelic et al., 2018; McAllister, Green, Terry, Herman, & Mulvey, 2003). This research philosophy has become increasingly popular in the past 20 years (Brown & Stalker, 2018; Simonds, Wallerstein, Duran, & Villegas, 2013). Many people believe that CBPR is a method that can positively aid social justice action as it relates to health (Israel et al., 1998; Minkler & Wallerstein, 2011; Simonds, Wallerstein, Duran, & Villegas, 2013). Perhaps the most critical element to the CBPR philosophy is the equal partnership between academics and community partners (Estacio et al., 2017; Israel et al., 1998; Peralta, 2017; Mayan & Daum, 2016; Minkler & Wallerstein, 2011; Wallerstein & Duran, 2003). Israel and colleagues (1998) argued that collaborative partnerships require both the scholars and community partners to “participate as equal members and share control over all phases of the research process, e.g. problem definition, data collection, interpretation of results, and application of the results to address community concerns” (p. 179). Equal partnerships are not only imperative for maintaining human rights (Reason & Torbert, 2001), but also for producing rigorous research (Minkler, 2005). The importance of the relationship between the researcher and the community partners are thus imperative to the process of CBPR. However, the process of communication between the researcher and the community partners has yet to be rigorously examined through the lens of communication theory. Thus, this study attempts to fill this gap in the literature by conducting an inductive systematic review study of CBPR research. A multi-level search will be conducted from 1998 (the year of Isreal et al., 1998 article) to October, 2019 (the date of data collection). The inclusion criteria for articles required 1) the articles meet McAllister et al. (2003) 5 criteria of CBPR, 2) the articles explained how the project was community-based rather than community-placed, and 3) articles had to explicitly discuss the process of communication with community partners (not just community members). Finally, the article had to explicitly discuss the strengths, weaknesses, barriers, and/or lessons learned as it relates to communicating between researchers and community partners. The results of the review study can aid CBPR scholars in their communication methods with community partners in order to ensure effective partnerships throughout the CBPR intervention. In addition, this study acts as a first step to applying communication theory to the CBPR researcher-community partner relationship.