Significant elements of community involvement in participatory action research:evidence from a community project
Participatory action research (PAR) has been heralded as an important research methodology to address issues of research relevance, community involvement, democracy, emancipation and liberation.Increasingly, nurse researchers are turning to PAR as a method of choice. Although nursing interest in PAR is expanding little is known about how to successfully involve the community in research. This article attends to this dearth of information by presenting the results of a study investigating the significant elements of community involvement in PAR. Through the use of qualitative research methods, five themes emerged that describe the community participation process: (a) planning for participation, (b) the structural components of community participation, (c) living the philosophy, (d) enhancing the credibility, and (e) the type of leadership required to facilitate community participation. It is hoped that by sharing these results others may consider the knowledge gleaned from this project as they plan and proceed with the challenges and rewards inherent in PAR.