Community Experiences and Perceptions of Clinical and Translational Research and Researchers
Engaging communities in research is increasingly recognized as critical to translation of research into improved health outcomes. Our objective was to understand community stakeholders' perspectives on researchers, academic institutions, and how community is valued in research. A 45-item survey assessing experiences and perceptions of research (trust, community value, equity, researcher preparedness, and indicators of successful engagement) was distributed to 226 community members involved in health research with academic institutions. Of the 109 respondents, 60% were racial/ethnic minorities and 78% were women, representing a range of community organizations, faith-based organizations, and public health agencies. Most (57%) reported current involvement with a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). Only 25% viewed researchers as well-prepared to engage communities and few (13%) reported that resources were available and adequate to support community involvement. Most community stakeholders (66%) were compensated for their involvement in research, but only 40% perceived compensation to be appropriate. Trust of research and perceptions that researchers value community were more positive among those who perceived their compensation as appropriate (P = .001). Appropriate compensation and resources to support community involvement in research may improve perceptions of trust and value in academic-community partnerships. Strategies are needed to increase researcher preparedness to engage with communities.