A Community-Engaged Approach to Environmental Health Research: Process and Lessons Learned

Julie A. Baldwin, Robert T. Trotter, Mark Remiker, C. Loren Buck, Amanda Aguirre, Trudie Milner, Emma Torres, Frank A. von Hippel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: This study used a community-engaged approach to examine associations between environmental contaminants and health outcomes among residents of Yuma, Arizona. Our team conducted a process evaluation to assess scientific rigor and adherence to community engagement principles. Objective: Our evaluation focused on four dimensions of community-based participatory research: 1) context, 2) group dynamics, 3) intervention and research, and 4) outcomes. Methods: Interviews were conducted with key informants from community partner organizations. Thematic analysis was used to evaluate community partners’ experiences with our collaborative process. Lessons Learned: Community partners reported collaborat-ing to establish research goals, recruit participants, collect data, plan analyses, and formulate dissemination strategies. Training needs, roles, and expectations of community partners varied based on available resources, prior research experience, and perceived research challenges. Conclusions: Leveraging community-engaged principles for studies of environmental contamination can expedite recruit-ment efforts and stimulate action to improve health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-540
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Agriculture
  • Community health partnerships
  • Environmental illness
  • Health disparities
  • Southwestern United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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