Engaging the Houston Community in Research: An Early Case Study of a Community Engagement Core in the University of Houston’s HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention

An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.


Brian J. Carter, JD
Lorraine R. Reitzel, PhD
Tzuan A. Chen, PhD
LeChauncy Woodard, MD
Ezemenari M. Obasi, PhD


The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities-funded U54 Research Center at the University of Houston addresses disparate racial/ethnic health outcomes related to cancer and substance abuse. Of its 4 cores, the Community Engagement Core involves the impacted community in affiliated research. Strategies include implementing community advisory boards, assisting with study design and execution, maintaining a social media presence, and publishing health-related videos for the community. We examine the early effectiveness of these strategies.


Data collection included surveying investigators and community advisory board members and monitoring traffic to videos and social media posts.


On a Likert scale survey of investigators (4 = “agree” and 5 = “strongly agree”), the mean rating for a prompt expressing satis- faction with services received was 4.67 (SD = 0.52; N = 6). On a Likert scale survey of community advisory board members, the mean rating for a prompt expressing belief that feedback was taken seriously was 5.00 (SD = 0.00; N = 9).


The Community Engagement Core is build- ing trusting relationships between researchers and community members. We discuss lessons learned that may inform both our growth and others’ efforts to implement community-engaged research.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 9, Number 5, September 2022, pp. 1017-1036(20)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.9.5.2