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Am J Public Health. 2010 Apr 1;100 Suppl 1:S81-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.165720. Epub 2010 Feb 10.

Linking science and policy through community-based participatory research to study and address health disparities.

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  • 1Health and Social Behavior Program, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360, USA.


With its commitment to balancing research and action, community-based participatory research (CBPR) is well suited to efforts at the intersections of science, practice, and policy to eliminate health disparities. Drawing on a larger study, we use 2 case studies to highlight the role of CBPR in helping achieve policy changes promoting, respectively, access to healthy foods (Bayview, San Francisco, CA) and higher air quality standards (Harlem, New York, NY). We then present facilitating factors and challenges faced across all 10 case studies from the larger study. Although we underscore the importance of analyzing contribution rather than claiming attribution in policy-focused work, CBPR's attention to both the distributive and the procedural justice necessary for eliminating health disparities may make it a particularly relevant approach in such work.

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