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Acad Med. 2013 Oct;88(10):1430-6. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31829b54ae.

A logic model for community engagement within the Clinical and Translational Science Awards consortium: can we measure what we model?

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Dr. Eder is director of research and evaluation, Access Community Health Network (a network of Federally Qualified Health Centers), Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Carter-Edwards is deputy director of research and operations, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and research associate professor of health behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. While preparing this article, she also was research assistant professor, Division of Community Health, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Hurd is associate professor of surgery, Department of Surgery-Division of Surgical Oncology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Rumala is visiting research scholar, Columbia University, Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education, New York, New York. While preparing this article, she was a community engagement specialist, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and codirector, SPARC Tri-Institutional Diversity Program, Rockefeller University, New York, New York. Dr. Wallerstein is professor, Public Health Program, Department of Family and Community Medicine, and director, Center for Participatory Research, Office of Community Health, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) initiative calls on academic health centers to engage communities around a clinical research relationship measured ultimately in terms of public health. Among a few initiatives involving university accountability for advancing public interests, a small CTSA workgroup devised a community engagement (CE) logic model that organizes common activities within a university-community infrastructure to facilitate CE in research. Whereas the model focuses on the range of institutional CE inputs, it purposefully does not include an approach for assessing how CE influences research implementation and outcomes. Rather, with communities and individuals beginning to transition into new research roles, this article emphasizes studying CE through specific relationship types and assessing how expanded research teams contribute to the full spectrum of translational science.The authors propose a typology consisting of three relationship types-engagement, collaboration, and shared leadership-to provide a foundation for investigating community-academic contributions to the new CTSA research paradigm. The typology shifts attention from specific community-academic activities and, instead, encourages analyses focused on measuring the strength of relationships through variables like synergy and trust. The collaborative study of CE relationships will inform an understanding of CTSA infrastructure development in support of translational research and its goal, which is expressed in the logic model: better science, better answers, better population health.

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