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Cancer Communication Research Center
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Many of us concerned with increasing the rate of uptake of evidence-based interventions are great believers of early engagement of target users in the development of new interventions. This notion is conceptualized in the public health arena by the term community-based participatory research (CBPR). A provocative piece on CBPR and its role in translational research is presented in the Editorial of the August 2011 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. Distinction between using CBPR as an instrumental strategy to enhance localization and as an all-inclusive worldview is discussed in reference to a recent study by Katz et al. The editorial also provides a great discussion on how we conceptualize and operationalize fidelity in the context of complex interventions.

To read the Editorial: Trickett, EJ. Community-Based Participatory Research as Worldview or Instrumental Strategy: Is It Lost in Translation(al) Research? Am J Public Health; 2011;101(8): 1353-1355

Borsika Rabin
Staff Researcher/Research Coordinator
KPCO

Written by CCRC at 13:07

As a graduate student about to finish up my PhD, career options have been top of mind recently. Most doctoral candidates spend the bulk of their time working within a university setting. It is where we learn to research and find our mentors. Because of the all-consuming nature of graduate studies, it can be difficult to think outside of the ivory tower.

The myriad of career directions available to health communication researchers was made clearer this week as I spent several days observing the inner workings of Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States. I was lucky enough to participate in the first ever Kaiser Permanente Cancer Communication Doctoral Fellows program hosted by the Cancer Communication Research Center in Denver, Colorado.

The fellows spent two mornings shadowing Kaiser Permanente employees who contributed to the organization in a variety of ways. While several of the participating doctoral students were matched with care providers who engaged in patient interaction, I spent my mornings following people primarily responsible for administrative functions and got to see first hand the complexities involved in managing and building communication networks across the organization. Afternoons were reserved for feedback sessions and guest speakers.

Any experience that broadens my vision is welcome and appreciated and the opportunity to see how research can be applied in practice is beneficial to all students, regardless of their discipline or area of academic interest. Several high profile publications have published articles lately on the glut of PhDs flooding the academic job market at a time when tenure track positions are becoming increasingly difficult to come by.

It is heartening to see that the research skills built through countless hours of graduate training can be used to address pressing issues within large organizations. Advancing knowledge in the abstract is an admirable goal, but applying new knowledge to improve practice also has enormous value. I appreciate the opportunity to learn how researchers can contribute outside of the academic world.

Kathleen Stansberry
University of Oregon
2011 CCRC Doctoral Fellow

Written by CCRC at 13:08

"Killing Peer Review"

Check out the linkfor an interesting idea of exchanging the current journal and editor based peer review process to a more open community-based review of pre-publication articles by scholars and experts. What do you think - would this approach produce an appropriate degree of quality and selection?

Borsika Rabin
Staff Researcher/Research Coordinator
KPCO

Written by CCRC at 13:08

Great four-day meeting with our 2011 Summer Doctoral Fellows. Very exciting to see in what good hands the future of cancer communication research resides! And a double thanks to our KPCO faculty from across the organization who gave up their time and attention to help these students understand some of the complexities and opportunities in an organization like this one.

Jim Dearing
Director/PI, CCRC
KPCO

Written by CCRC at 13:09

Assessing "readiness" is something that we often seek to do in social change research and in social change practice. Often, though, the readiness assessed only concerns the end-user social system that will be targeted for change or that will be invited into some sort of participative change process. For example, communities may be assessed for their degree of readiness in organizing to prevent homelessness. Those scores might then be used to determine which communities are "ready" to engage in change.

Unfortunately, there are two other component parts that are critical for successful social change: The innovation that will be introduced to the targeted social system, and those organizational stakeholders who sponsor and who will be responsible for delivering the innovation to the targeted end-user social system. Rarely do we assess the readiness of innovations themselves, or the readiness of the resource or intermediary delivery system that will get the innovation to the end-user social system. But there is no reason this cannot be done!

We've done some work along these lines of parsing out types of readiness assessments. If you're interested, let me know. If you've also done some work like this, let me know!

Jim Dearing
Director/PI, CCRC
KPCO

Written by CCRC at 13:10

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