BAIARDI JM, BRUSH BL and LAPIDES S. Nursing Inquiry 2010; 17: 289–296
Common issues, different approaches: strategies for community–academic partnership development
Communities around the United States face many challenging health problems whose complexity makes them increasingly unresponsive to traditional single-solution approaches. Multiple approaches have considered ways to understand these health issues and devise interventions that work. One such approach is community-based participatory research. This article describes the development of a new collaborative partnership between a school of nursing and an urban social service agency using community-based participatory research as a framework. We describe the partnership’s evolution and process of data collection and analysis and evaluate the outcomes of both. We argue that community-based participatory research involves partnerships at its core whose members, both as individuals and part of the collaboration, must be committed and nimble in the face of shifting and challenging health and social problems, recognize common issues and concerns across the boundaries of community and academia, and respect each other’s different approaches and expertise.