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CBPR (community-based participatory research) is a joint study of a particular problem where all the members of the partnership program work on analyzing the progress of all the stages of the research process. This approach makes it possible to achieve a comprehensive study of a set problem and helps each participant of the program introduce his or her contribution to the whole work. According to this article, one of the types of CBPR will be presented, displaying a successful and efficient medical intervention in the UAE for people with cancer.
Principles and Benefits of CBPR
A joint research is designed not only to provide useful and reliable information but also to build the capacity for participation among the members of the study (Hagginbottom & Liamputtong 2015, p. 167). The principles of CBPR include selecting participants who are willing to work on a specific issue, as well as collaborative discussing a particular issue. Also, another condition is the voluntary participation of citizens.
The principle of free access is one of the fundamental ones. Difficulties that may arise in the course of work include the shortage of potential participants in the study. However, volunteers sometimes do not have sufficient knowledge and skills, and it may become an obstacle in a quick solution of the task. Working with cancer patients requires an individual approach, and despite the fact that generally the UAE healthcare system is rather advanced, there is also a certain percentage of the population here who suffers from this dangerous disease. Thus, the proposed CBPR aims at studying the problem of cancer with the involvement of everyone who is interested in improving the situation.
It is important to convey to people the importance of this work, which is one of the key aspects of CBPR (Manganello & Jurkowski 2017, par. 1). The advantage of this approach is that significant issues are explored, and development programs are created jointly with citizens.
In other words, people themselves together with researchers determine the essence of specific questions, to which they want to find answers. Ordinary citizens with scientists or an initiative group participate in gathering necessary information, and they propose what actions should be taken according to the information collected at the level of a particular city, emirate or country. Therefore, the primary benefit of such CBPR is its full openness and effectiveness in the fight against cancer, which is achieved through the joint work of many people.
Epidemiology and Importance of the Problem
Cancer treatment has always played a significant role in the health care of any country, including the UAE. As Salam (2015, p. 461) notes, both an extreme rise in temperature and an increasing number of industrial factories negatively influence the population. Health intervention may help correct the current situation; Freudenberg and Tsui (2014, p. 13) claim that collaborative work can lower a cancer risk from pollution from 100 cases per million to 25 cases per million.
As epidemiological measures, it is necessary to count the number of patients, calculate a proportion, and evaluate possible risks (Measures of disease frequency 2017). The awareness of the problem is an urgent step in the planning phase of the implementation of the CBPR; therefore, it is important to understand the role of the state to influence certain political changes (Freudenberg & Tsui 2014, p. 11).
It is impossible to carry out a successful study with the participation of the population if the values of its participants vary widely in fundamental issues that determine goals and methods (Muhammad et al. 2014, p. 1046). It means that each member of the target group should be aware of the importance of the issue. The problem of cancer has always played a significant role in the healthcare system of any country. Therefore, in connection with a rapidly developing industry and changing climate, joint work to study this issue in the UAE is fully justified.
Development of a CBPR Partnership
An initiative group or researchers should answer the question of what purpose they pursue together with the representatives of the population to determine the objectives of the study. It is important to identify stakeholders and promote their participation in the study (Sharma 2016, p. 20). At this stage, the initiative group, together with the citizens participating in the study, needs to determine the criteria for identifying the central research questions. The work principles of this policy include the participation of stakeholders willing to help in solving the problem, as well as collaborative discussing that may be effective in finding the most appropriate ways to correct the current situation.
The implementation of the CBPR allows developing mutual trust in the group and improving the capacity (Frerichs et al. 2016, p. 216). All stakeholders are interested in finding suitable solutions and identifying the most successful methods of intervention on the basis of the overall result. Participants meet at regular discussions and propose possible ideas to implement certain methods, for example, surveys among the population or cooperation with the government. If partnership is productive, the chances for a successful solution of the problem are quite high.
Possible Application of the CBPR
Researchers can collect information on the experience of contact with the cancer problem in a particular region of the UAE to understand exactly how this issue manifests itself in the life of different people and affects them. The collected data, for example, the lifestyle and habits of older people at risk of cancer can be analyzed with the context in which all the changes occur to obtain more versatile and useful data. The members of the CBRP can consider the result of such a study and draw conclusions about which category of the population is susceptible to the disease. Also, such a strategy is useful to exclude those target groups that have never experienced cancer.
Another stage in which the CBRP may be engaged to help influence policy is public consultations. If it is a question of cancer, people get all the necessary data, including statistical analysis, possible areas of activity, as well as optimal strategies. According to Sharma (2016, p. 20), such a large-scale discussion is a rather successful technique to influence policy as many people are involved in a problem-solving process.
The opportunities of policy change in the UAE are quite significant: the average number of cancer patients can decrease, and the population can know about such a disease and all possible ways to avoid it, for instance, the reduction of smoking prevalence. The results of the CBPR can be used for other regions of the UAE in the future if the collaborative work proves to be effective. Partnership with the government allows attracting attention to the problem and working at the state level, which significantly increases chances for successful collaborative work.
Thus, the CBPR partnership related to medical intervention in the UAE for people with cancer may be successful and justified if all the members of work are interested in achieving successful results. The experience of experts and the initiative of volunteers are necessary for developing a specific strategy and the stages of intervention. The opportunities of the CBRP help to discuss the best method of intervention and work with the target audience in accordance with the results of the study.
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