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Nurs Outlook. 2003 Nov-Dec;51(6):261-6.

Participatory action research: the Indian Family Stories Project.

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University of Minnesota School of Nursing, 6-101 Weaver-Densford Hall, 308 Harvard Street S.E., , Minneapolis, MN 55455-0342, USA.


Community-based research projects are critically needed to reduce health disparities and ensure the delivery of health care that is culturally appropriate and relevant to families and communities. The purpose of this article is to share experiences and lessons learned from utilizing a participatory action approach in a series of five subprojects within the Indian Family Stories Project. Participatory action research (PAR) focuses on identifying community needs and designing action plans in partnership with the community. To effectively implement PAR projects, investigators need to: (a) Build and maintain strong, collaborative working relationships with a broad network of community representatives, (b) Secure funding that addresses community needs and provides mechanisms for giving back to the community, (c) Ensure that the project fits the particular cultural and community context, (d) Evaluate and adapt the project as needed, (e) Keep the community informed, (f) Develop sustainable community resources, and (g) Advocate on behalf of the community.

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