Background. Providing practitioners with an intuitive measure for priority setting that can be combined with diverse data collection methods is a necessary step to foster accountability of the decision-making process in community settings. Yet, there is a lack of easy-to-use, but methodologically robust measures, that can be feasibly implemented for reliable decision-making in community settings. To address this important gap in community based participatory research (CBPR), the purpose of this study was to demonstrate the utility, applicability, and validation of a community priority index in a community-based participatory research setting.
Design and Methods. Mixed-method study that combined focus groups findings, nominal group technique with six key informants, and the generation of a Community Priority Index (CPI) that integrated community importance, changeability, and target populations. Bootstrapping and simulation were performed for validation.
Results. For pregnant mothers, the top three highly important and highly changeable priorities were: stress (CPI=0.85; 95%CI: 0.70, 1.00), lack of affection (CPI=0.87; 95%CI: 0.69, 1.00), and nutritional issues (CPI=0.78; 95%CI: 0.48, 1.00). For non-pregnant women, top priorities were: low health literacy (CPI=0.87; 95%CI: 0.69, 1.00), low educational attainment (CPI=0.78; 95%CI: 0.48, 1.00), and lack of self-esteem (CPI=0.72; 95%CI: 0.44, 1.00). For children and adolescents, the top three priorities were: obesity (CPI=0.88; 95%CI: 0.69, 1.00), low self-esteem (CPI=0.81; 95%CI: 0.69, 0.94), and negative attitudes toward education (CPI=0.75; 95%CI: 0.50, 0.94).
Conclusions. This study demonstrates the applicability of the CPI as a simple and intuitive measure for priority setting in CBPR.
Priority setting; community-based participatory research; nominal group