Dissemination of Results in Community-Based Participatory Research

Communities that take part in community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects are often left unaware of the findings.

Knowledge has the potential to improve health outcomes. Therefore, researchers have an ethical responsibility to transmit their findings to the general public, in particular to the communities in which research takes place.

This literature review discusses efforts of CBPR researchers to communicate their findings to the public. The review combines quantitative analysis of published studies with qualitative feedback from the authors of the studies.

The authors of the review performed keyword searches for articles that addressed the dissemination of CBPR findings. Each article received a score (on a 3-point scale), indicating the level of community involvement. The author of every article had the opportunity to complete a web-based survey; open-ended questions asked whether relevant information had been omitted from the articles. The authors of the review summarized the survey responses according to five categories.

Key Findings:

  • Forty-two percent of the articles described community involvement in the dissemination of research findings.
  • Cultural and linguistic differences between researchers and community members are obstacles to the communication of findings.
  • One study used a local movie theater to communicate its findings to the public.

This literature review discusses efforts of CBPR researchers to communicate their findings to the participating communities. The authors considered published studies that addressed the dissemination of CBPR findings. The review includes excerpts from researchers’ responses to survey questions. The authors note innovative methods that have been used to communicate findings.