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Am J Prev Med. 2009 Dec;37(6 Suppl 1):S230-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2009.09.036.

Building community-based participatory research partnerships with a Somali refugee community.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maricopa Integrated Health System, Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, Arizona State University, 411 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85004, USA. Crista.Johnson@asu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The U.S. has become home to growing numbers of immigrants and refugees from countries where the traditional practice of female genital cutting (FGC) is prevalent. These women under-utilize reproductive health care, and challenge healthcare providers in providing culturally appropriate care.

PURPOSE:

This study examined Somali immigrant women's experiences with the U.S. healthcare system, exploring how attitudes, perceptions, and cultural values, such as FGC, influence their use of reproductive health care.

METHODS:

A mixed-method community-based participatory research (CBPR) collaboration with a Somali refugee community was conducted from 2005 to 2008 incorporating surveys, semi-structured focus groups, and individual interviews. Providers caring for this community were also interviewed to gain their perspectives and experiences.

RESULTS:

The process of establishing a partnership with a Somali community is described wherein the challenges, successes, and lessons learned in the process of conducting CBPR are examined. Challenges obtaining informed consent, language barriers, and reliance on FGC self-report were surmounted through mobilization of community social networks, trust-building, and the use of a video-elicitation device. The community partnership collaborated around shared goals of voicing unique healthcare concerns of the community to inform the development of interventional programs to improve culturally-competent care.

CONCLUSIONS:

Community-based participatory research using mixed-methods is critical to facilitating trust-building and engaging community members as active participants in every phase of the research process, enabling the rigorous and ethical conduct of research with refugee communities.

PMID:
19896024
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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