Community-based organizations (CBOs) are important stakeholders in health systems and are increasingly called upon to use research evidence to inform their advocacy, program planning, and service delivery. To better support CBOs to find and use research evidence, we sought to assess the capacity of CBOs in the HIV/AIDS sector to acquire, assess, adapt, and apply research evidence in their work.
We invited executive directors of HIV/AIDS CBOs in Ontario, Canada (n = 51) to complete the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation's "Is Research Working for You?" survey.
Based on responses from 25 organizations that collectively provide services to approximately 32,000 clients per year with 290 full-time equivalent staff, we found organizational capacity to acquire, assess, adapt, and apply research evidence to be low. CBO strengths include supporting a culture that rewards flexibility and quality improvement, exchanging information within their organization, and ensuring that their decision-making processes have a place for research. However, CBO Executive Directors indicated that they lacked the skills, time, resources, incentives, and links with experts to acquire research, assess its quality and reliability, and summarize it in a user-friendly way.
Given the limited capacity to find and use research evidence, we recommend a capacity-building strategy for HIV/AIDS CBOs that focuses on providing the tools, resources, and skills needed to more consistently acquire, assess, adapt, and apply research evidence. Such a strategy may be appropriate in other sectors and jurisdictions as well given that CBO Executive Directors in the HIV/AIDS sector in Ontario report low capacity despite being in the enviable position of having stable government infrastructure in place to support them, benefiting from long-standing investment in capacity building, and being part of an active provincial network. CBOs in other sectors and jurisdictions that have fewer supports may have comparable or lower capacity. Future research should examine a larger sample of CBO Executive Directors from a range of sectors and jurisdictions.
Community collaboration in research may lead to better methods, results, and dissemination of interventions. Little systematic research has examined specific factors that influence community-based organizations (CBOs) to collaborate in public health research. There is an urgent need to advance knowledge on this topic so that together, researchers and CBOs can minimize barriers to collaboration. This study advances a CBO-focused characterization of collaboration in HIV-prevention research. By focusing on the perspectives of 20 key informants in 10 HIV-prevention CBOs, qualitative data revealed factors that influenced their collaborations in four domains: (a) Researchers’ Characteristics (expertise, availability), (b) Collaborative Research Characteristics (ought to improve services and CBO infrastructure); (c) Community Partner–Researcher Relationships (resolving social and professional issues); and (d) Barriers to HIV-Prevention Research Collaboration (cultural and social disconnect between CBO and academia). To reduce barriers, researchers ought to enhance motivators that facilitate collaboration. To use the advantages of community-based research, prevention scientists and policy makers ought to embrace CBOs’ characterization of what makes health research genuinely collaborative.
collaboration; public health research; HIV prevention; community-based organizations
Health promotion practice research conducted by or in partnership with community-based organizations (CBOs) serving Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPI) can address health disparities. Few CBOs have the tools to integrate or initiate research into their programmatic agenda. The New York University (NYU) Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH) and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) created a partnership with the goal to support CBO research infrastructure development by creating the Community Empowered Research Training (CERT) program.
A survey was conducted and discussions held with CBO leaders representing AA and NHPI communities to inform the development of the CERT program.
The majority of participants are engaged in service-related research and reported interest in building their research capacity. CBOs may require help reframing how data can be collected and used to better inform programmatic activities and to address health disparities facing AA and NHPI communities.
CBOs possess both an interest in and access to local knowledge that can inform health priorities. Findings have been applied to the CERT program to build capacity to support community-initiated/driven research to address health disparities affecting AAs and NHPIs.
Community health partnerships; community-based participatory research; health disparities; Asian Americans; Native Hawaiians; Pacific Islanders; research capacity building
Community-based organizations (CBOs) are important stakeholders in health systems and are increasingly called upon to use research evidence to inform their advocacy, program planning, and service delivery efforts. CBOs increasingly turn to community-based research (CBR) given its participatory focus and emphasis on linking research to action. In order to further facilitate the use of research evidence by CBOs, we have developed a strategy for community-based knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) that helps CBOs more effectively link research evidence to action. We developed the strategy by: outlining the primary characteristics of CBOs and why they are important stakeholders in health systems; describing the concepts and methods for CBR and for KTE; comparing the efforts of CBR to link research evidence to action to those discussed in the KTE literature; and using the comparison to develop a framework for community-based KTE that builds on both the strengths of CBR and existing KTE frameworks.
We find that CBR is particularly effective at fostering a climate for using research evidence and producing research evidence relevant to CBOs through community participation. However, CBOs are not always as engaged in activities to link research evidence to action on a larger scale or to evaluate these efforts. Therefore, our strategy for community-based KTE focuses on: an expanded model of 'linkage and exchange' (i.e., producers and users of researchers engaging in a process of asking and answering questions together); a greater emphasis on both producing and disseminating systematic reviews that address topics of interest to CBOs; developing a large-scale evidence service consisting of both 'push' efforts and efforts to facilitate 'pull' that highlight actionable messages from community relevant systematic reviews in a user-friendly way; and rigorous evaluations of efforts for linking research evidence to action.
Through this type of strategy, use of research evidence for CBO advocacy, program planning, and service delivery efforts can be better facilitated and continually refined through ongoing evaluations of its impact.
To describe the theoretical principles that guided the establishment of Project Eban’s Community Advisory Boards (CABs), their functions, and composition; the selection and recruitment processes; lessons learned; and recommendations on the use of CABs in multisite HIV clinical trial studies.
In the first year of Project Eban’s implementation, each of the 4 sites formed a local CAB. Member recruitment took place during the first 6 months of the study. On average, each site’s CAB consisted of 13–19 stakeholders, with a total of 62 members for the multisite study, including leaders of HIV/AIDS-related CBOs, hospital-based HIV/AIDS service providers, HIV/AIDS network leaders in minority communities, CBOs that serve predominantly black communities, and consumers.
Each of the CAB members has expressed a strong commitment to assisting in the conduct of the research. CABs are integral to the success of the study, and their input is highly respected and used to improve the quality of the research.
This article highlights the importance of CABs in the conduct of HIV clinical trials and their roles in making the study culturally congruent to meet the needs of the black community in dealing with the HIV epidemic.
While sustainability of health programmes has been the subject of empirical studies, there is little evidence specifically on the sustainability of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) for HIV/AIDS. Debates around optimal approaches in community health have centred on utilitarian versus empowerment approaches. This paper, using the World Bank Multi-Country AIDS Program (MAP) in Zambia as a case study, seeks to evaluate whether or not this global programme contributed to the sustainability of CBOs working in the area of HIV/AIDS in Zambia. Lessons for optimising sustainability of CBOs in lower income countries are drawn.
In-depth interviews with representatives of all CBOs that received CRAIDS funding (n = 18) and district stakeholders (n= 10) in Mumbwa rural district in Zambia, in 2010; and national stakeholders (n=6) in 2011.
Funding: All eighteen CBOs in Mumbwa that received MAP funding between 2003 and 2008 had existed prior to receiving MAP grants, some from as early as 1992. This was contrary to national level perceptions that CBOs were established to access funds rather than from the needs of communities. Funding opportunities for CBOs in Mumbwa in 2010 were scarce.
Health services: While all CBOs were functioning in 2010, most reported reductions in service provision. Home visits had reduced due to a shortage of food to bring to people living with HIV/AIDS and scarcity of funding for transport, which reduced antiretroviral treatment adherence support and transport of patients to clinics.
Organisational capacity and viability: Sustainability had been promoted during MAP through funding Income Generating Activities. However, there was a lack of infrastructure and training to make these sustainable. Links between health facilities and communities improved over time, however volunteers’ skills levels had reduced.
Whilst the World Bank espoused the idea of sustainability in their plans, it remained on the periphery of their Zambia strategy. Assessments of need on the ground and accurate costings for sustainable service delivery, building on existing community strengths, are needed before projects commence. This study highlights the importance of enabling and building the capacity of existing CBOs and community structures, rather than creating new mechanisms.
Community Based Organisations; HIV/AIDS; Sustainability; World Bank; Zambia; Community participation; Care and support services
From 2000–2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded a study that was designed to improve the information available to program planners about the geographic distribution of CDC-funded HIV prevention services provided by community-based organizations (CBOs). Program managers at CDC recognized the potential of a geographic information system (GIS) to organize and analyze information about HIV prevention services and they made GIS a critical component of the study design. The primary objective of this study was to construct a national, geographically-referenced database of HIV prevention services provided by CDC-funded CBOs. We designed a survey instrument to collect information about the geographic service areas where CBOs provided HIV prevention services, then collected data from CBOs that received CDC funding for these services during fiscal year 2000. We developed a GIS database to link questionnaire responses with GIS map layers in a manner that would incorporate overlapping geographies, risk populations and prevention services. We collected geographic service area data in two formats: 1) geopolitical boundaries and 2) geographic distance.
The survey response rate was 70.3%, i.e. 1,020 of 1,450 community-based organizations responded. The number of HIV prevention programs administered by each CBO ranged from 1 to 23. The survey provided information about 3,028 prevention programs, including descriptions of intervention types, risk populations, race and ethnicity, CBO location and geographic service area. We incorporated this information into a large GIS database, the HIV Prevention Services Database. The use of geopolitical boundaries provided more accurate results than geographic distance. The use of a reference map with the questionnaire improved completeness, accuracy and precision of service area data.
The survey instrument design and database development procedures that we used for this study successfully met our objective. The development of the HIV Prevention Services Database for CDC is an important step toward the implementation of a spatial decision support system. Due to the costs involved in a nationwide survey such as this, we recommend that future data collection efforts use Web-based survey methodologies that incorporate interactive maps.
The authors describe a 3-year effort by a public health care system in a large metropolitan area to obtain Federal funds for treating patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). During that process, program planners moved incrementally from proposing an exclusively medical model to one emphasizing the activities of a coalition of community based organizations (CBO). Successive proposals for Federal funding reflected increasing understanding of the nature and functioning of CBOs in providing case management and other support services. The third application proposed devoting 34.5 percent of the budget to CBO activities. That application, which was successfully funded, provided leverage and momentum for the concept of the interdisciplinary, broadly based services consortium which has evolved in Denver since 1989. The consortium has been instrumental in the 55.9 percent reduction in the cost of medical care for AIDS patients that has occurred.
Studies of implementation of efficacious human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention interventions are rare, especially in resource-poor settings, but important, because they have the potential to increase the impact of interventions by improving uptake and sustainability. Few studies have focused on provider and organizational factors that may influence uptake and fidelity to core intervention components. Using a hybrid design, we will study the implementation of an efficacious intervention to reduce sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among female sex workers (FSWs) in 12 cities across Mexico. Our protocol will test a ‘train-the-trainer’ implementation model for transporting the Mujer Segura (Healthy Woman) intervention into community-based organizations (CBOs).
We have partnered with Mexican Foundation for Family Planning (Mexfam), a non-governmental organization that has CBOs throughout Mexico. At each CBO, trained ethnographers will survey CBO staff on characteristics of their organization and on their attitudes toward their CBO and toward the implementation of evidence-based interventions (EBIs). Then, after CBO staff recruit a sample of 80 eligible FSWs and deliver a standard-care, didactic intervention to 40 women randomly selected from that pool, a Mexfam staff person will be trained in the Mujer Segura intervention and will then train other counselors to deliver Mujer Segura to the 40 remaining participating FSWs. FSW participants will receive a baseline behavioral assessment and be tested for HIV and STIs (syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia); they will be reassessed at six months post-intervention to measure for possible intervention effects. At the same time, both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected on the implementation process, including measures of counselors’ fidelity to the intervention model. After data collection at each CBO is complete, the relative efficacy of the Mujer Segura intervention will be analyzed, and across CBOs, correlations will be examined between individual and organizational provider characteristics and intervention efficacy.
This cooperative, bi-national research study will provide critical insights into barriers and facilitating factors associated with implementing interventions in CBOs using the ‘train the trainer’ model. Our work builds on similar scale-up strategies that have been effective in the United States. This study has the potential to increase our knowledge of the generalizability of such strategies across health issues, national contexts, and organizational contexts.
Implementation; Dissemination; HIV; Evidence-based intervention; Female sex workers
The goals of this research were to evaluate perceptions of staff about the effectiveness of methods used by eight community-based organizations (CBOs) to implement human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling and rapid testing in community and outreach settings in seven U.S. cities, and to identify operational challenges.
A survey was administered to CBO staff to determine their perceptions about the effectiveness of methods used to select testing venues, promote their testing programs, recruit people for testing, provide test results, and link HIV-positive people to health care. Using a Likert scale, respondents rated the effectiveness of methods, their agreement with statements about using mobile testing units (MTUs) and rapid HIV test kits, and operational challenges.
Most respondents perceived the methods they used for selecting testing venues, and particularly using recommendations from people receiving testing, to be effective. Most respondents also thought their promotional activities were effective. Respondents believed that using MTUs improved their capacity to reach high-risk individuals, but that MTUs were associated with substantial challenges (e.g., costs to purchase and maintain them). Programmatic challenges included training staff to provide counseling and testing, locating and providing confirmatory test results to people with reactive rapid tests, and sustaining testing programs.
CBO staff thought the methods used to select venues for HIV testing were effective and that using MTUs increased their ability to provide testing to high-risk individuals. However, using MTUs was expensive and posed logistical difficulties. CBOs planning to implement similar programs should take these findings into consideration and pay particular attention to training needs and program sustainability.
This article describes the demographic and behavioral characteristics, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing history, and results of HIV testing of transgender (TG) people recruited for rapid HIV testing by -community-based organizations (CBOs) in three cities.
CBOs in Miami Beach, Florida, New York City, and San Francisco offered TG people rapid HIV testing and prevention services, and conducted a brief survey. Participants were recruited in outreach settings using various strategies. The survey collected information on demographic characteristics, HIV risk behaviors, and HIV testing history.
Among 559 male-to-female (MTF) TG participants, 12% were newly diagnosed with HIV infection. None of the 42 female-to-male participants were newly diagnosed with HIV. A large proportion of MTF TG participants reported high-risk behaviors in the past year, including 37% who reported unprotected receptive anal intercourse and 44% who reported commercial sex work. Several factors were independently associated with increased likelihood of being newly diagnosed with HIV infection among MTF TG participants, including having a partner of unknown HIV status in the past year; being 20–29 or ≥40 years of age; having last been tested for HIV more than 12 months ago; and having been recruited at the New York City site.
Based on the high proportion of undiagnosed HIV infection among those tested, TG people represent an important community for enhanced HIV testing and prevention efforts. MTF TG people should be encouraged to have an HIV test at least annually or more often if indicated, based upon clinical findings or risk behaviors. Efforts should continue for developing novel strategies to overcome barriers and provide HIV testing and prevention services to TG people.
We assessed the cost-effectiveness of determining new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnoses using rapid HIV testing performed by community-based organizations (CBOs) in Kansas City, Missouri, and Detroit, Michigan.
The CBOs performed rapid HIV testing during April 2004 through March 2006. In Kansas City, testing was performed in a clinic and in outreach settings. In Detroit, testing was performed in outreach settings only. Both CBOs used mobile testing vans. Measures of effectiveness were the number of HIV tests performed and the number of people notified of new HIV diagnoses, based on rapid tests. We retrospectively collected program costs, including those for personnel, test kits, mobile vans, and facility space.
The CBO in Kansas City tested a mean of 855 people a year in its clinic and 703 people a year in outreach settings. The number of people notified of new HIV diagnoses was 19 (2.2%) in the clinic and five (0.7%) in outreach settings. The CBO in Detroit tested 976 people a year in outreach settings, and the number notified of new HIV diagnoses was 15 (1.5%). In Kansas City, the cost per person notified of a new HIV diagnosis was $3,637 in the clinic and $16,985 in outreach settings. In the Detroit outreach settings, the cost per notification was $13,448.
The cost of providing a new HIV diagnosis was considerably higher in the outreach settings than in the clinic. The variation can be largely explained by differences in the number of undiagnosed infections among the people tested and by the costs of purchasing and operating a mobile van.
To effectively address HIV/AIDS in Africa, evidence on preventing new infections and providing effective treatment is needed. Ideally, decisions on which interventions are effective should be based on evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Our previous research described African RCTs of HIV/AIDS reported between 1987 and 2003. This study updates that analysis with RCTs published between 2004 and 2008.
To describe RCTs of HIV/AIDS conducted in Africa and reported between 2004 and 2008.
We searched the Cochrane HIV/AIDS Specialized Register in September 2009. Two researchers independently evaluated studies for inclusion and extracted data using standardized forms. Details included location of trials, interventions, methodological quality, location of principal investigators and funders.
Our search identified 834 RCTs, with 68 conducted in Africa. Forty-three assessed prevention-interventions and 25 treatment-interventions. Fifteen of the 43 prevention RCTs focused on preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission. Thirteen of the 25 treatment trials focused on opportunistic infections. Trials were conducted in 16 countries with most in South Africa (20), Zambia (12) and Zimbabwe (9). The median sample size was 628 (range 33-9645). Methods used for the generation of the allocation sequence and allocation concealment were adequate in 38 and 32 trials, respectively, and 58 reports included a CONSORT recommended flow diagram. Twenty-nine principal investigators resided in the United States of America (USA) and 18 were from African countries. Trials were co-funded by different agencies with most of the funding obtained from USA governmental and non-governmental agencies. Nineteen pharmaceutical companies provided partial funding to 15 RCTs and African agencies co-funded 17 RCTs. Ethical approval was reported in 65 trials and informed consent in 61 trials.
Prevention trials dominate the trial landscape in Africa. Of note, few principal investigators and funders are from Africa. These findings mirror our previous work and continue to indicate a need for strengthening trial research capacity in Africa.
To support reduction of racial disparities in mental health diagnosis and treatment, mental health researchers and black community-based organization (CBO) leaders need training on how to engage in collaborative research partnerships. In this study, we pilot tested a series of partnership skills training modules for researchers and CBO leaders in a collaborative learning format. Two different sets of three modules, designed for separate training of researchers and CBO leaders, covered considering, establishing and managing mental health research partnerships and included instructions for self-directed activities and discussions. Eight CBO leaders participated in 10 sessions, and six researchers participated in eight sessions. The effectiveness of the training content and format was evaluated through standardized observations, focus group discussions, participant evaluation forms and retrospective pre-/posttests to measure perceived gains in knowledge. Participants generally were satisfied with the training experience and gained new partnership knowledge and skills. Although the CBO leaders were more engaged in the cooperative learning process, this training format appealed to both audiences. Pilot testing demonstrated that: 1) our modules can equip researchers and CBO leaders with new partnership knowledge and skills and 2) the cooperative learning format is a well-received and suitable option for mental health research partnership training.
The Healthy Carolinians community microgrants project provided microgrants to community-based organizations (CBOs) across North Carolina. These grants were made to serve as a catalyst to engage the CBOs in health promotion activities that addressed Healthy People 2010 objectives. The purpose of this initiative was to increase the awareness of Healthy People 2010 objectives, mobilize resources, and create new partners in community health improvement.
In 1993, Healthy Carolinians, a statewide network of public–private partnerships, was established at the county level to address North Carolina's health objectives that aligned with national Healthy People 2010 objectives. This network of Healthy Carolinians partnerships provided the vehicle for distributing the microgrants.
Funding was distributed to 32 Healthy Carolinians partnerships that, in turn, awarded 199 microgrants ($2010 each) to CBOs to address state and national health objectives. Each CBO selected its own objectives based on Healthy People 2010 objectives and designed its own interventions. Surveys of the CBO project managers and final reports were used for evaluation. A survey of the Healthy Carolinians partnership coordinators provided additional insight.
Of the 199 surveys mailed to CBOs, 153 (77%) responded. Nearly half (43.7%) of the microgrants were used to focus on three major health risk factors: 27.1% on physical activity and fitness, 13.1% on nutrition and overweight, and 3.5% on tobacco use. At the end of the project, 96.1% of the respondents reported that they were familiar with the Healthy People 2010 objectives. Final reports showed that an estimated 52,739 hours of CBO staff and volunteer time were contributed to microgrant programs. All Healthy Carolinians partnership coordinators responded to a survey; 100% stated that they had new access to priority populations within their community.
The Healthy Carolinians microgrant project demonstrated a cost-effective, alternative approach to funding community-based health promotion and injury control activities. This model was decentralized, so it empowered communities and CBOs to be responsible for community health improvement. Public health professionals with limited funds should consider this alternative approach, which mobilized existing community organizations and effectively addressed national and state health objectives.
A major public health challenge is to communicate effectively with vulnerable populations about preparing for disasters and other health emergencies. People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (Deaf/HH) and older adults are particularly vulnerable during health emergencies and require communications that are accessible and understandable. Although health literacy studies indicate that the readability of health communication materials often exceeds people’s literacy levels, we could find no research about the readability of emergency preparedness materials (EPM) intended for Deaf/HH and older adult populations. The objective of this study was to explore issues related to EPM for Deaf/HH and older adult populations, to assess the availability and readability of materials for these populations, and to recommend improvements. In two California counties, we interviewed staff at 14 community-based organizations (CBOs) serving Deaf/HH clients and 20 CBOs serving older adults selected from a stratified, random sample of 227 CBOs. We collected 40 EPM from 10 CBOs and 2 public health departments and 40 EPM from 14 local and national websites with EPM for the public. We used computerized assessments to test the U.S. grade reading levels of the 16 eligible CBO and health department EPM, and the 18 eligible website materials. Results showed that less than half of CBOs had EPM for their clients. All EPM intended for clients of Deaf/HH-serving CBOs tested above the recommended 4th grade reading level, and 91% of the materials intended for clients of older adult-serving CBOs scored above the recommended 6th grade level. EPM for these populations should be widely available through CBOs and public health departments, adhere to health literacy principles, and be accessible in alternative formats including American Sign Language. Developers should engage the intended users of EPM as co-designers and testers. This study adds to the limited literature about EPM for these populations.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's AIDS Health Services Program uses case management to provide community-based care for people with AIDS. This article reports data concerning implementation of case management, based on interviews with program clients in nine communities. Some clients receive case management from a community-based organization (CBO), while others have clinic-based case managers. Clinic clients are more likely to be disadvantaged. Over 25 percent of respondents report having no case manager at either site, and 10 percent report having two case managers. Those who need social services are more likely to have a case manager. Between 18 and 25 percent have had no contact with their case manager in a month, but over 50 percent have had multiple contacts. Frequency of contact is positively related to having needs for social services. Evaluations of case managers are favorable, but there is some dissatisfaction with ease of access. Having a case manager is positively related to having service needs met. Results suggest that (1) efforts to coordinate care through case management must deal with the existence of clinics and CBOs as distinct treatment sites with differing clientele, and (2) explicit policies concerning eligibility for case management and frequency of monitoring must be developed.
The goals of this project were to assess the feasibility of conducting rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing in outreach and community settings to increase knowledge of HIV serostatus among groups disproportionately affected by HIV and to identify effective nonclinical venues for recruiting people in the targeted populations.
Community-based organizations (CBOs) in seven U.S. cities conducted rapid HIV testing in outreach and community settings, including public parks, homeless shelters, and bars. People with reactive preliminary positive test results received confirmatory testing, and people confirmed to be HIV-positive were referred to health-care and prevention services.
A total of 23,900 people received rapid HIV testing. Of the 267 people (1.1%) with newly diagnosed HIV infection, 75% received their confirmatory test results and 64% were referred to care. Seventy-six percent were from racial/ethnic minority groups, and 58% identified themselves as men who have sex with men, 72% of whom reported having multiple sex partners in the past year. Venues with the highest proportion of new HIV diagnoses were bathhouses, social service organizations, and needle-exchange programs. The acceptance rate for testing was 60% among sites collecting this information.
Findings from this demonstration project indicate that offering rapid HIV testing in outreach and community settings is a feasible approach for reaching members of minority groups and people at high risk for HIV infection. The project identified venues that would be important to target and offered lessons that could be used by other CBOs to design and implement similar programs in the future.
Information technology (IT) has the potential to assist disadvantaged communities in gaining access to mainstream resources, and to a new kind of community health-supporting infrastructure. Federal and state information technology policy will affect how and how well community institutions can reach their goals, collaborate with service agencies, and effectively advocate investing essential, health-supporting resources in their communities. The current information technology focus of the health professions is institution and provider-oriented. It should have a wider scope to include community-based organizations. Laborious efforts undertaken by community-based organizations (CBOs) with only a patchwork of resources and without policy support suggest their value to the public's health. Increasingly burdened public health organizations should examine the public health interest in closing the gap between IT-poor and IT-rich organizations and develop a strategy for building inclusive electronic webs with CBOs.
Although many community-based initiatives employ community residents to undertake door-to-door surveys as a form of community mobilization or for purposes of needs assessment or evaluation, very little has been published on the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. This article discusses our experience in undertaking such a survey in collaboration with a coalition of community-based organizations (CBOs) in the South Bronx, New York. Although resource constraints limited the already-strained capacity of the CBOs to provide supervision, the CBOs and community surveyors helped us gain access to neighborhood buildings and to individuals who might otherwise have been inaccessible. The survey process also contributed to the coalition’s community outreach efforts and helped to link the CBO leadership and staff more closely to the coalition and its mission. Many of the surveyors enhanced their knowledge and skills in ways that have since benefited them or the coalition directly. The participating CBOs continue to be deeply engaged in the coalitions’ work, and many of the surveyors are active as community health advocates and have taken leadership roles within the coalition.
Community engagement; Community-based research; Participatory research; Public health partnerships
The primary objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a community-based pilot intervention that combined cervical cancer education with patient navigation on cervical cancer screening behaviors among Chinese American women residing in New York City.
Chinese women (n = 134) who had not had a Pap test within the previous 12 months were recruited from four Asian community-based organizations (CBOs). Women from two of the CBOs received the intervention (n = 80) consisting of education, interaction with a Chinese physician, and navigation assistance, including help in identifying and accessing free or low-cost screening services. The control group (n = 54) received education delivered by Chinese community health educators and written materials on general health and cancer screening, including cervical cancer, the Pap test, and information about sites that provided free screening. Study assessments were obtained in-person at baseline and postintervention. Screening behavior was self-reported at 12-month postintervention and verified by medical staff.
In the 12-month interval following the program, screening rates were significantly higher in the intervention group (70%) compared to the control group (11.1%). Hierarchical logistic regression analyses indicated that screening behavior was associated with older age (OR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.01–1.15, p < .05). In addition, women with poorer English language fluency (OR = 0.30, 95% CI = 0.10–0.89, p < .05) and who did not have health insurance were less likely to obtain screening (OR = 0.15, 95% CI = 0.02–0.96, p < .05). Among health beliefs, greater perceived severity of disease was positively associated with screening behavior (OR = 4.26, 95% CI = 1.01-18.04, p < .05).
Community-based programs that provide combined education and patient navigation may be effective in overcoming the extensive linguistic and access barriers to screening faced by Chinese American women.
Developing cities like Khulna, the third largest metropolitan city in Bangladesh, have now begun to confess the environmental and public health risks associated with uncontrolled dumping of solid wastes mainly due to the active participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) in municipal solid waste (MSW) management.
A survey was conducted to observe the present scenarios of secondary disposal site (SDS), ultimate disposal site (UDS), composting plants, medical wastes management and NGOs and CBOs MSW management activities.
A total of 22 NGOs and CBOs are involved in MSW management in 31 wards of Khulna City Corporation. About 9 to 12% of total generated wastes are collected by door-to-door collection system provided by mainly NGOs and CBOs using 71 non-motorized rickshaw vans. A major portion of collected wastes is disposed to the nearest SDS by these organizations and then transferred to UDS or to private low-lying lands from there by the city authority. A small portion of organic wastes is going to the composting plants of NGOs.
The participation of NGOs and CBOs has improved the overall MSW management system, especially waste collection process from sources and able to motivate the residents to store the waste properly and to keep clean the premises.
Municipal solid waste (MSW); NGO; CBO; Waste management; Composting
Nearly 3 million people in resource-poor countries receive antiretrovirals for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, yet millions more require treatment. Key barriers to treatment scale up are shortages of trained health care workers, and challenges integrating HIV/AIDS care with primary care.
PALM PLUS (Practical Approach to Lung Health and HIV/AIDS in Malawi) is an intervention designed to simplify and integrate existing Malawian national guidelines into a single, simple, user-friendly guideline for mid-level health care workers. Training utilizes a peer-to-peer educational outreach approach. Research is being undertaken to evaluate this intervention to generate evidence that will guide future decision-making for consideration of roll out in Malawi. The research consists of a cluster randomized trial in 30 public health centres in Zomba District that measures the effect of the intervention on staff satisfaction and retention, quality of patient care, and costs through quantitative, qualitative and health economics methods.
Results and outcomes
In the first phase of qualitative inquiry respondents from intervention sites demonstrated in-depth knowledge of PALM PLUS compared to those from control sites. Participants in intervention sites felt that the PALM PLUS tool empowered them to provide better health services to patients. Interim staff retention data shows that there were, on average, 3 to 4 staff departing from the control and intervention sites per month. Additional qualitative, quantitative and economic analyses are planned.
Dignitas International and the Knowledge Translation Unit at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute have led the adaptation and development of the PALM PLUS intervention, using experience gained through the implementation of the South African precursor, PALSA PLUS. The Malawian partners, REACH Trust and the Research Unit at the Ministry of Health, have led the qualitative and economic evaluations. Dignitas and Ministry of Health have facilitated interaction with implementers and policy-makers.
Challenges and successes
This initiative is an example of South-South knowledge translation between South Africa and Malawi, mediated by a Canadian academic-NGO hybrid. Our success in developing and rolling out PALM PLUS in Malawi suggests that it is possible to adapt and implement this intervention for use in other resource-limited settings.
Purpose: We describe the recruitment strategies and personnel and materials costs associated with two community-based research studies in a Mexican-origin population. We also highlight the role that academic–community partnerships played in the outreach and recruitment process for our studies. We reviewed study documents using case study methodology to categorize recruitment methods, examine community partnerships, and calculate study costs. Results: We employed several recruitment methods to identify and solicit 154 female caregivers for participation in qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys. Recruitment approaches included using flyers and word of mouth, attending health fairs, and partnering with nonprofit community-based organizations (CBOs) to sponsor targeted recruitment events. Face-to-face contact with community residents and partnerships with CBOs were most effective in enrolling caregivers into the studies. Almost 70% of participants attended a recruitment event sponsored or supported by CBOs. The least effective recruitment strategy was the use of flyers, which resulted in only 7 completed interviews or questionnaires. Time and costs related to carrying out the research varied by study, where personal interviews cost more on a per-participant basis ($1,081) than the questionnaires ($298). However, almost the same amount of time was spent in the community for both studies. Implications: Partnerships with CBOs were critical for reaching the target enrollment for our studies. The relationship between the University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) Resource Center for Minority Aging Research/Center for Health Improvement for Minority Elderly and the Department of Aging provided the infrastructure for maintaining connections with academic–community partnerships. Nevertheless, building partnerships required time, effort, and resources for both researchers and local organizations.
Mexican Americans; Informal caregiving; Recruitment methods; Academic–community partnerships; Costs
The continuum of response (CoR) to HIV/AIDS is a framework for implementation of HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs based on a national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS services. The CoR for people who inject drugs (PWID) is an important extension of the developed CoR to HIV/AIDS. The CoR-PWID employs stakeholders who together plan, develop, pilot, and provide a full range of services that address the various prevention, care/support, and treatment needs of people, families, and communities infected or affected by HIV/AIDS and injection drug use. The CoR-PWID comprises a broad range of services that include but are not limited to the World Health Organization priority interventions for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care in the health sector and the package of essential interventions for the prevention, treatment, and care of HIV for people who inject drugs. Implementation of these well-defined, essential prevention, care/support, and treatment services, in addition to locally defined needed services, in a coordinated fashion is important to clients, their families, and communities. The CoR-PWID is, therefore, a necessary framework essential for service development for countries that address HIV/AIDS in populations of PWID.