From Design to Dissemination: Implementing Community-Based Participatory Research in Postdisaster Communities

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Abstract

Objectives

To review how disasters introduce unique challenges to conducting population-based research and community-based participatory research (CBPR).

Methods

From 2007-2009, we conducted the Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana (HEAL) Study in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in a Gulf Coast community facing an unprecedented triple burden: Katrina’s and other disasters’ impact on the environment and health, historic health disparities, and persistent environmental health threats.

Results

The unique triple burden influenced every research component; still, most existing CBPR principles were applicable, even though full adherence was not always feasible and additional tailored principles govern postdisaster settings.

Conclusions

Even in the most challenging postdisaster conditions, CBPR can be successfully designed, implemented, and disseminated while adhering to scientific rigor.

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