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Int J Equity Health. 2015 Jan 31;14:13. doi: 10.1186/s12939-015-0145-3.

Promoting the inclusion of Afghan women and men in research: reflections from research and community partners involved in implementing a 'proof of concept' project.

Author information

1
Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Flemington Road, 3052, Parkville, VIC, Australia. elisha.riggs@mcri.edu.au.
2
General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre, University of Melbourne, 3052, Parkville, VIC, Australia. elisha.riggs@mcri.edu.au.
3
Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Flemington Road, 3052, Parkville, VIC, Australia. jane.yelland@mcri.edu.au.
4
General Practice and Primary Health Care Academic Centre, University of Melbourne, 3052, Parkville, VIC, Australia. jane.yelland@mcri.edu.au.
5
Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, 4 Gardiner Street, 3056, Brunswick, VIC, Australia. szwarcj@foundationhouse.org.au.
6
Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, 4 Gardiner Street, 3056, Brunswick, VIC, Australia. caseys@foundationhouse.org.au.
7
Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, 4 Gardiner Street, 3056, Brunswick, VIC, Australia. chestersd@foundationhouse.org.au.
8
Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture, 4 Gardiner Street, 3056, Brunswick, VIC, Australia. duell-pieningp@foundationhouse.org.au.
9
Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Flemington Road, 3052, Parkville, VIC, Australia. S.Wahidi@semml.com.au.
10
Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Flemington Road, 3052, Parkville, VIC, Australia. ffouladi1@gmail.com.
11
Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Flemington Road, 3052, Parkville, VIC, Australia. stephanie.brown@mcri.edu.au.
12
School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, 3052, Parkville, VIC, Australia. stephanie.brown@mcri.edu.au.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

With mounting evidence that poor maternal and child health outcomes are related to the social determinants of health, researchers need to engage with vulnerable and isolated communities to gather the evidence that is essential to determine appropriate solutions. Conventional research methods may not ensure the degree and quality of participation that is necessary for meaningful study findings. Participatory methods provide reciprocal opportunities for often excluded communities to both take part in, and guide the conduct of research.

METHOD/DESIGN:

The Having a baby in a new country research project was undertaken to provide evidence about how women and men of refugee background experience health services at the time of having a baby. This two year, multifaceted proof of concept study comprised: 1) an organisational partnership to oversee the project; 2) a community engagement framework including: female and male Afghan community researchers, community and sector stakeholder advisory groups and community consultation and engagement.

DISCUSSION:

Inclusive research strategies that address power imbalances in research, and diversity of and within communities, are necessary to obtain the evidence required to address health inequalities in vulnerable populations. Such an approach involves mindfully adapting research processes to ensure that studies have regard for the advice of community members about the issues that affect them. Researchers have much to gain by committing time and resources to engaging communities in reciprocal ways in research processes.

PMID:
25637274
PMCID:
PMC4316798
DOI:
10.1186/s12939-015-0145-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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