Community-based participatory research and American Indian/Alaska Native nurse practitioners: A partnership to promote adolescent health

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Purpose:To make recommendations for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) nurse practitioners (NPs) and university partners who are partnering on community-based participatory (CBPR) research projects. An example of a CBPR study using focus groups to assess an important adolescent health problem is used to illustrate opportunities and challenges for AI/AN NPs.Data sources:Thirteen focus groups were held with 95 participants on the reservation where the AI/AN NP was a member and working. Results indicated that a majority of the community represented in the focus groups were concerned about substance abuse among its youth.Conclusions:The NP faced several challenges, including remembering emotional events recounted during focus groups differently than participants. This necessitated debriefing and a recommendation to carefully form policies and procedures before collecting data to anticipate such events. By far, the benefit of the NP's involvement was her ability to identify key members for focus groups, to assist in tribal council meetings, and to schedule meetings.Implications for practice:CBPR research partnerships are enhanced by NPs that are members of the community. CBPR partnerships present opportunities for NPs and university faculty to work on relevant community problems together.

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