Community Action Against Asthma

Examining the Partnership Process of a Community-based Participatory Research Project

Authors

  • Edith A. Parker DrPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Received from the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health (EAP, BAI, MW, TCL, TR, GK) and Medicine (TCL), Ann Arbor, Mich; Detroit Health Department (WB-C), Community Health and Social Services Center (ER), and Friends of Parkside (ZR), Detroit, Mich.
      Address correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr. Parker: Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029 (e-mail: edithp@umich.edu).
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  • Barbara A. Israel DrPH,

    1. Received from the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health (EAP, BAI, MW, TCL, TR, GK) and Medicine (TCL), Ann Arbor, Mich; Detroit Health Department (WB-C), Community Health and Social Services Center (ER), and Friends of Parkside (ZR), Detroit, Mich.
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  • Melina Williams MPH,

    1. Received from the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health (EAP, BAI, MW, TCL, TR, GK) and Medicine (TCL), Ann Arbor, Mich; Detroit Health Department (WB-C), Community Health and Social Services Center (ER), and Friends of Parkside (ZR), Detroit, Mich.
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  • Wilma Brakefield-Caldwell BSN,

    1. Received from the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health (EAP, BAI, MW, TCL, TR, GK) and Medicine (TCL), Ann Arbor, Mich; Detroit Health Department (WB-C), Community Health and Social Services Center (ER), and Friends of Parkside (ZR), Detroit, Mich.
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    • Ms. Brakefield-Caldwell is retired from the Detroit Health Department.

  • Toby C. Lewis MD, MPH,

    1. Received from the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health (EAP, BAI, MW, TCL, TR, GK) and Medicine (TCL), Ann Arbor, Mich; Detroit Health Department (WB-C), Community Health and Social Services Center (ER), and Friends of Parkside (ZR), Detroit, Mich.
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  • Thomas Robins MD, MPH,

    1. Received from the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health (EAP, BAI, MW, TCL, TR, GK) and Medicine (TCL), Ann Arbor, Mich; Detroit Health Department (WB-C), Community Health and Social Services Center (ER), and Friends of Parkside (ZR), Detroit, Mich.
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  • Erminia Ramirez MSW,

    1. Received from the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health (EAP, BAI, MW, TCL, TR, GK) and Medicine (TCL), Ann Arbor, Mich; Detroit Health Department (WB-C), Community Health and Social Services Center (ER), and Friends of Parkside (ZR), Detroit, Mich.
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  • Zachary Rowe BA,

    1. Received from the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health (EAP, BAI, MW, TCL, TR, GK) and Medicine (TCL), Ann Arbor, Mich; Detroit Health Department (WB-C), Community Health and Social Services Center (ER), and Friends of Parkside (ZR), Detroit, Mich.
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  • Gerald Keeler PhD

    1. Received from the University of Michigan Schools of Public Health (EAP, BAI, MW, TCL, TR, GK) and Medicine (TCL), Ann Arbor, Mich; Detroit Health Department (WB-C), Community Health and Social Services Center (ER), and Friends of Parkside (ZR), Detroit, Mich.
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Address correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr. Parker: Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1420 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029 (e-mail: edithp@umich.edu).

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Community Action Against Asthma (CAAA) is a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project that assesses the effects of outdoor and indoor air quality on exacerbation of asthma in children, and tests household- and neighborhood-level interventions to reduce exposure to environmental asthma triggers. Representatives of community-based organizations, academia, an integrated health system, and the local health department work in partnership on CAAA's Steering Committee (SC) to design and implement the project.

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a process evaluation of the CAAA community–academic partnership.

DESIGN: In-depth interviews containing open-ended questions were conducted with SC members. Analysis included established methods for qualitative data, including focused coding and constant comparison methods.

SETTING: Community setting in Detroit, Michigan.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-three members of the CAAA SC.

MEASUREMENTS: Common themes identified by SC members relating to the partnership's ability to achieve project goals and the successes and challenges facing the partnership itself.

MAIN RESULTS: Identified partnership accomplishments included: successful implementation of a complex project, identification of children with previously undiagnosed asthma, and diverse participation and community influence in SC decisions. Challenges included ensuring all partners' influence in decision-making, the need to adjust to “a different way of doing things” in CBPR, constraints and costs of doing CBPR felt by all partners, ongoing need for communication and maintaining trust, and balancing the needs of science and the community through intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: CBPR can enhance and facilitate basic research, but care must be given to trust issues, governance issues, organizational culture, and costs of participation for all organizations involved.

Ancillary