Engaging minorities in researching sensitive health topics by using a participatory approach
Health inequalities Previous     Next

Engaging minorities in researching sensitive health topics by using a participatory approach

Mubarak Musa Ismail Researcher, Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University, South Yorkshire, UK
Kate Gerrish Professor of nursing research, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
Andrew Naisby Specialist nurse, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
Sarah Salway Senior research fellow, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
Punita Chowbey Research fellow, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK

Aim To report the use of a community participatory approach (PA) in a project investigating tuberculosis (TB) in UK Somali migrants.

Background It is crucial to address health inequalities and persistent health problems, particularly in groups who are often excluded or seem hard to reach. TB is an illness stigmatised in the Somali population, making it a difficult topic for research. In this study, a community PA was used to investigate TB and members of the Somali community were recruited as co-researchers.

Data sources Four community researchers (CRs), eight focus groups (n=48), interviews with members of the community (n=24), people with TB and ex-TB patients (n=14), and healthcare practitioners (n=18).

Review methods This is an informative paper.

Discussion The paper describes the approach used in the recruitment of community researchers and how engaging early with community leaders using oral communication made it possible to research TB in the Somali community.

Conclusion The PA led to capacity building, trust and a longer sustainable partnership with members of the Somali community. The success of the approach in the study suggests that there are valuable lessons for those researching similar topics with minority groups.

Implications for practice/research Involving people in health research topics with a stigma is possible. This paper highlights how this could be achieved using a community PA and the recruitment of community members as co-researchers. However, the PA is time-consuming and will depend on the skills of academic researchers in knowing and engaging with the community.

Nurse Researcher. 22, 2, 44-48. doi: 10.7748/nr.22.2.44.e1268

Correspondence

m.m.ismail@shu.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 31 July 2013

Accepted: 24 June 2014

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now

Or