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Health Serv Res. 1995 Apr;30(1 Pt 2):225-36.

Conducting an assessment of health needs and resources in a racial/ethnic minority community.

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School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


This article examines strategies and methodologic issues for researchers to consider when conducting community-based research within a racial/ethnic minority community. Members of minority communities have considerable skepticism about the health care system and researchers who work under its auspices. To facilitate quality research, it is necessary to build a mutually beneficial partnership between the community and researchers. Suggested strategies for accomplishing this goal, such as seeking out information on the social and political forces shaping the community and developing the community's capacity to undertake research of this type, are described. Methodologic issues include the importance of community input in defining the minority population group and its leadership, the benefits and limitations of conducting comparative analysis, and the need for measurement tools and techniques that are culturally and socially appropriate. Minority and nonminority researchers must make a concerted effort to gain knowledge of and respect for a community whose culture, values, and beliefs may differ from their own.

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