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date: 21 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The conduct of community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a recent innovation in research designs aimed at identifying effective public health interventions. CBPR aims to maximize participation of affected populations in all phases of the research to fulfill three purposes: it is (1) a method for developing innovative interventions, (2) an intervention itself intended to change the respective partners positively as a result of their participation, and (3) a means to fulfill an ethical obligation. CBPR is most ethically significant for respecting community autonomy and providing protections from community-level harms, such as stigmatization of identifiable social groups, lost opportunity costs, and overcoming mistrust, which may lead to reluctance to participate in research and, hence, a lack of empirical data on potential adverse effects or benefits for certain social groups. Key unresolved issues include procedures for enlisting legitimate community representatives and the scope of their authority over the conduct of the research.

Keywords: public health ethics, community autonomy, community-level harms, community participation, legitimated representation, community-based participatory research, CBPR

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