Category: Cultural Diversity / Vulnerable Populations

Symposium

Chatting Over Chai: How "Tension" Was Identified and Examined Through Community-Based Participatory-Informed Research in India

Saturday, November 18
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Aqua Salon C & D, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Cross Cultural / Cultural Differences | Community-Based Assessment / Intervention | Violence / Sexual Assault
Presentation Type: Symposium

Although all countries have treatment gaps for mental health, these are very large in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs; Patel, 2009). The treatment gap goes hand-in-hand with a knowledge gap (Saxena, 2006). Lack of expertise, an oft-cited reason for research and treatment gaps in LMICS, may be addressed through effective involvement of non-experts via community-based participatory research (CBPR; Vishwanathan et al., 2004). This presentation reviews CBPR components and shares how these were used in a LMIC. Following a brief review of key CBPR tenets (Puffer et al., 2013; Yamey, 2011), a case study of a mixed methods research project using CBPR components will be described. This project used CBPR components to collect data in a hard-to-reach sample of 47 women at risk of trauma exposure in Indian slums. A partnering non-governmental organization (NGO) conducting varied social programming enlisted community members to recruit participants, contributing to the project’s success. Additionally, they corroborated that a key idiom of distress – ‘tension’ – that emerged in early stages of data collection was ubiquitous and salient in this context. These insights, in addition to co-interviewing the first few participants with a community member, improved the cultural relevance of interview methodology. Finally, the NGO participated in early analyses and interpretation of the clinical and cultural meaning of tension in this setting. In turn, the NGO gained information on how stressors impact the people they serve without investigating this firsthand, including sensitive issues surrounding gender-based violence in their community. Using CBPR resulted in fruitful recruitment, responsiveness to early results, and locally grounded interpretation of findings for both parties (Minkler, 2005). Despite the vital role the NGO played in qualitative aspects of the study, their competing responsibilities prevented them from refining the quantitative design. Overall, CBPR components can effectively reduce research and treatment gaps in LMICs (Yamey, 2011); its successes and challenges will be discussed to inform responsible and ethical use of CBPR in other low-resource settings.

Anushka Patel

Doctoral student
The University of Tulsa

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