Perceptions of Empowerment Within and Across Partnerships in Community-Based Participatory Research: A Dyadic Interview Analysis.Qual Health Res. 2016 Jan; 26(1):105-16.QH
Although the concept of empowerment is a key principle of community-based participatory research (CBPR), little is known about how academic and community partners perceive empowerment during a CBPR process. CBPR partners' perceptions of the process were explored using semi-structured interviews with both partners in 10 CBPR partnerships that had completed projects addressing social determinants of health. Dyadic interview analysis was employed to understand dynamics within and across partnerships. Five partnerships showed no differences in perceptions of empowerment. Four had minor discrepancies. Only one partnership varied considerably between partners, where the community partner perceived less empowerment regarding determining the study topic and overall control, influence, and respect throughout the process. This article discusses implications of findings for CBPR. Evaluating partners' perceived empowerment throughout a CBPR project might reveal areas to adjust, as not all projects with quantifiably successful outcomes involve processes that are successful in terms of empowerment.