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Glob Health Promot. 2014 Mar;21(1):68-72. doi: 10.1177/1757975913514463. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Pakikisama: lessons learned in partnership building with Filipinas with breast cancer for culturally meaningful support.

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1.University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


San Francisco Bay Area Filipinas with breast cancer underutilize support services. Our partnership engaged in community-based participatory research (CBPR) that involved formation of a community advisory board (CAB) representing low-income, low-English-proficient Filipinas with breast cancer. While CABs are a standard component of CBPR projects, the process of establishing and fostering CAB involvement has been under studied. This commentary explores the process our team used-building upon the Filipino cultural method of pakikisama which stresses making the other feel welcome, safe, and nurtured-to overcome barriers to active engagement. Challenges included minimizing power imbalances between the research team and CAB, and the establishment of an environment of familiarity, trust and caring among CAB members. We recorded all CAB meetings, transcribed them verbatim, and Tagalog portions were transcribed into English for analysis. Mobilizing pakikisama supported partnership building and allowed CAB members to engage in inclusive dialogue and formulate a culturally relevant support model.


CBPR; Filipinos; breast cancer; culture; support

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