Community-based participatory research with Hispanic/Latino community leaders and members

Date of Completion

January 2010


Health Sciences, Nursing|Health Sciences, Public Health|Hispanic American Studies




Hispanic/Latinos (H/L) continue to migrate to the United States in growing numbers and are one of our foremost contributors to the workforce. H/L people should have the opportunity to be included and involved with researchers so that they can have access to quality healthcare that meets their cultural needs. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an increasingly used approach that requires active participation of community members and researchers collaborating in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of research. While its popularity has risen, there appeared to be no known qualitative studies that directly inquired about H/L community leaders and members' lived experience with CBPR. ^ The first aim of this study was to describe and interpret the lived experience of community leaders and members with CBPR by using Van Manen's hermeneutic phenomenological approach. The second aim was to have the participants be involved in a dialogue process by sharing their experience of CBPR, as a collective group, using Paulo Freire's (1993) critical social theory. ^ Utilizing a qualitative method, hermeneutic phenomenology, the researcher conducted an in-depth exploration of CBPR with eight H/L participants. This method involves a combination of description and interpretation of their experience. Van Manen's (1990) six step method was used for the analysis and interpretation of transcripts. H/L participants were recruited from a rural town in New England. Interviews and focus groups were taped, transcribed, and assessed, with the participants, individually and as a group. ^ This study supports that community members want to be involved and empowered to collaborate with researchers using the CBPR approach to address their identified health needs. Six themes emerged to describe the participants experience with CBPR: (1) CBPR Provides a Deeper Understanding of the Community; (2) The "P" in CBPR Equals Involvement; (3) The "R" in CBPR is Needed in More Ways than One, (4) CBPR is Similar to Outreach Workers Job but with Added Steps; (5) CBPR "Opens the Door" for the H/L Culture; and (6) CBPR has its Benefits and Challenges. This project was also part of an ongoing assessment of addressing Healthy People 2010 goals to increase quality and years of healthy life and to eliminate health disparities. Hopefully, this paradigm of human science inquiry will aid healthcare researchers to be more attuned to the life-world of the H/L community leaders and members with the use of CBPR. In the words of the late Congressman Paul Rogers (Rogers, as cited in National Institute Health Summit, 2008): "Without RESEARCH, there is no hope! Without research there is NO hope! Without research there is no HOPE!" ^