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Fam Community Health. 2016 Oct-Dec;39(4):242-50. doi: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000120.

Planting Healthy Roots: Using Documentary Film to Evaluate and Disseminate Community-Based Participatory Research.

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Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Statewide Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia (Drs Brandt and Friedman and Mss Choi and Seel); Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Social Work and Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (Dr Freedman); Graduate Center for Gerontology, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington (Mr Guest); and Department of Public Health, California State University, Fresno (Dr Khang).


Documentary filmmaking approaches incorporating community engagement and awareness raising strategies may be a promising approach to evaluate community-based participatory research. The study purpose was 2-fold: (1) to evaluate a documentary film featuring the formation and implementation of a farmers' market and (2) to assess whether the film affected awareness regarding food access issues in a food-desert community with high rates of obesity. The coalition model of filmmaking, a model consistent with a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, and personal stories, community profiles, and expert interviews were used to develop a documentary film (Planting Healthy Roots). The evaluation demonstrated high levels of approval and satisfaction with the film and CBPR essence of the film. The documentary film aligned with a CBPR approach to document, evaluate, and disseminate research processes and outcomes.

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