Journal clubs: an educational approach to advance understanding among community partners and academic researchers about CBPR and cancer health disparities.
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Journal clubs may enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in community-based participatory research (CBPR) that will ultimately impact cancer health disparities. This article (1) describes an innovative approach to adapting the traditional journal club format to meet community and academic participants' needs, (2) presents evaluation data, and (3) explores whether responses differed between academic and community members. Five journal clubs occurred between February 2011 and May 2012 as a training activity of a regional cancer health disparities initiative. Each journal club was jointly planned and facilitated by an academic member in collaboration with a community partner. Attendees were recruited from academic programs across the Moffitt Cancer Center/University and community partners. Responses to a 13-item evaluation of each journal club session were compared to assess whether certain topics were evaluated more favorably, and explore differences between academic and community participants' assessment of the topic relevance. Evaluations were positive (mean ratings >4 out of 5) on most items and overall. No statistically significant differences were observed between academic and community members' ratings. Key overlapping interests by community partners and academic researchers/trainees for future journal club topics included discussing real-world CBPR examples and methods for involving the community in research. Although the initial goal was to use journal clubs as an educational tool to increase CBPR knowledge and skills of junior faculty trainees, results suggest mutual academic-community benefit and interest in learning more about CBPR as a way to reduce cancer health disparities.