Innovative Approaches to Obtaining Community Feedback in the Witness for Wellness Experience

Published in: Ethnicity and Disease, v. 16, no. 1, suppl. 1, Winter 2006, p. S1-35-S1-42

Posted on on January 01, 2006

by Kavita Patel, Paul Koegel, Theodore Booker, Loretta Jones, Kenneth B. Wells

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BACKGROUND: Awareness of the need for innovative approaches to obtaining feedback in community-based participatory research (CBPR) is increasing. These innovative approaches should incorporate the core principles of CBPR, including equity and colearning. Additionally, the methods should be culturally appropriate and inclusive of the community and academic partners. OBJECTIVE: To develop and implement two separate methods of obtaining community feedback for two activities in a CBPR initiative: 1) discussion of three work-group plans during a leadership council meeting; and 2) feedback from the work groups to the target community in a public setting. METHODS: In order to facilitate a feedback process for the discussion of 3 separate group action plans, an adapted version of the modified Delphi technique was used during which 42 community and academic partners voted and evaluated each plan both before and after group discussion. Results were immediately posted on a projection screen for the group to process. The second community feedback method incorporated the use of an audience response system (ARS) in order to obtain responses from 187 community participants after hearing summaries of the Witness for Wellness work-group action plans. More than 60% of the respondents added that the use of the handheld device made research seem more relevant and less intimidating. CONCLUSIONS: Both the use of the adapted modified Delphi process and ARS were effective in capturing community feedback related to two group activities in the Witness for Wellness initiative. Both methods also allowed participants to understand the role of research in a community setting.

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