Evidence Library


Title: Maximising participation by black Americans in population-based diabetes research: The project DIRECT pilot experience.
Author: Burrus, B., Liburd, L. & Burroughs, A.
Date Published: 1998
Reference: Journal of Community Health, 23(1), 15-27.
Are service users or carers authors: No/Not Known


Aim: To conduct a population survey of diabetes in Wake County, North Carolina, to reduce the burden of disease in the black community.

Method: A community advisory board (CAB) was set up to develop the research tools, identify people to become interviewers and promote the project.

Findings/recommendations: The CAB had a big impact on the project by:

  • checking that the community was benefiting from the research at all stages and reminding the research team to explore options for 'giving back' to the community
  • shifting the emphasis of the survey (which included blood glucose measurement and blood pressure screening) so that it became more of a health service meeting people's needs than a research activity reflecting academic interests
  • changing the way the project was carried out so that the people who took part received more feedback and were signposted to useful resources, for example people with abnormal blood glucose values were followed up by phone to check that they understood the need to seek further care
  • writing information for the project participants and adding their names to the recruitment brochure to give it more legitimacy
  • planning mass media programs and presentations to various community groups to encourage participation.

The research team attribute the high response rates to the survey (77%) to the efforts and involvement of the CAB. 

They also saw benefits in the relationships that developed between CAB members, the researchers and government representatives. This helped to overcome the community's general mistrust of research.

The CAB have decided they want to continue to support the next stages of the project, even though there will be a delay before the second phase begins. Their ongoing dedication suggests that the pilot helped create a strong community coalition interested in taking action to address the community's problem with diabetes.

External link: The following links will take you to information on this entry on an external website. INVOLVE is not responsible for the content or the reliability of the external websites. Link to PubMed abstract

Related entry: none currently available

Categories: health
public health
Designing research
Managing research
Undertaking research
impact on research
impact on implementation and change
impact of public involvement
journal article
Implementation and change

Date Entered: 2009/01/27

Date Edited: 2012/12/06

Additional Info: