The Value and Challenges of Participatory Research: Strengthening its Practice

Posted: 6 Jun 2008

See all articles by Margaret Cargo

Margaret Cargo

University of South Australia - School of Health Sciences

Shawna L. Mercer

Government of the United States of America - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Abstract

The increasing use of participatory research (PR) approaches to address pressing public health issues reflects PR's potential for bridging gaps between research and practice, addressing social and environmental justice and enabling people to gain control over determinants of their health. Our critical review of the PR literature culminates in the development of an integrative practice framework that features five essential domains and provides a structured process for developing and maintaining PR partnerships, designing and implementing PR efforts, and evaluating the intermediate and long-term outcomes of descriptive, etiological, and intervention PR studies. We review the empirical and nonempirical literature in the context of this practice framework to distill the key challenges and added value of PR. Advances to the practice of PR over the next decade will require establishing the effectiveness of PR in achieving health outcomes and linking PR practices, processes, and core elements to health outcomes.

Keywords: Community-based participatory research, action research, empowerment evaluation, community engagement, partnerships, knowledge translation

Suggested Citation

Cargo, Margaret and Mercer, Shawna L., The Value and Challenges of Participatory Research: Strengthening its Practice. Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 29, April 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1142027

Margaret Cargo (Contact Author)

University of South Australia - School of Health Sciences ( email )

Australia

Shawna L. Mercer

Government of the United States of America - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ( email )

1600 Clifton Rd., NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
United States

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