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A network assessment of community-based participatory research: linking communities and universities to reduce cancer disparities.

  • Author(s): Valente, Thomas W
  • Fujimoto, Kayo
  • Palmer, Paula
  • Tanjasiri, Sora Park
  • et al.
Abstract

We sought to determine whether a community-based initiative designed to reduce cancer disparities among Pacific Islanders in Southern California increased communications between community-based organizations and university researchers.We conducted network analysis among 11 community-based organizations (CBOs) and 5 universities by interviewing 91 and 56 members of these organizations, respectively, at 2 points in time. We estimated random effects probit regression and stochastic actor-oriented network dynamic models.We found that, during the 2-year study period, CBOs increased their connectedness with one another (b= 0.44; P < .05) and to the universities (b = 0.46; P < .05), but that university researchers did not increase their connectedness to each other or to CBOs.Cancer awareness, cancer education, and access to cancer services are low among Pacific Island groups, and this study provides an initial attempt to reduce these disparities. Community-based initiatives can strengthen a CBO network, creating the potential for increased community-informed cancer research and improved community access to cancer research resources.

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