Using attendance data for social network analysis of a community-engaged research partnership.J Clin Transl Sci. 2020 Dec 21; 5(1):e75.JC
The Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science (RU-CCTS) and Clinical Directors Network (CDN), a Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN), fostered a community-academic research partnership involving Community Health Center (CHCs) clinicians, laboratory scientists, clinical researchers, community, and patient partners. From 2011 to 2018, the partnership designed and completed Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Project (CAMP1), an observational study funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and CAMP2, a Comparative Effectiveness Research Study funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). We conducted a social network analysis (SNA) to characterize this Community-Engaged Research (CEnR) partnership.
Projects incorporated principles of Community-Based Participatory Research (CAMP1/2) and PCORI engagement rubrics (CAMP2). Meetings were designed to be highly interactive, facilitate co-learning, share governance, and incentivize ongoing engagement. Meeting attendance formed the raw dataset enriched by stakeholder roles and affiliations. We used SNA software (Gephi) to form networks for four project periods, characterize network attributes (density, degree, centrality, vulnerability), and create sociograms. Polynomial regression models were used to study stakeholder interactions.
Forty-seven progress meetings engaged 141 stakeholders, fulfilling 7 roles, and affiliated with 28 organizations (6 types). Network size, density, and interactions across organizations increased over time. Interactions between Community Members or Recruiters/Community Health Workers and almost every other role increased significantly across CAMP2 (P < 0.005); Community Members' centrality to the network increased over time.
In a partnership with a highly interactive meeting model, SNA using operational attendance data afforded a view of stakeholder interactions that realized the engagement goals of the partnership.