In response to RFA-MD-09-006 (NCMHD Community Participation in Health Disparities Intervention Research Planning Phase), this application details a two-year pilot intervention project to plan and implement a community-based participatory research (CBPR) program aimed at reducing substance abuse and related issues among Cambodian American women in the East San Francisco Bay Area city of Oakland, CA. The PI, an anthropologist, and colleagues at the Berkeley office of PI RE are developing this proposal in partnership with Community Health for Asian Americans (CHAA), a community-based organization with whom they have been working for several years, as well as with two community-based organizations serving Oakland Cambodian Americans with whom the partners have also previously collaborated. The local Cambodian American community is represented by: 1) a Community Work Group of Cambodian American women who are at risk for or have personal experience with substance abuse, and who will select the priority issue and design, direct and conduct all research and intervention activities;2) a Community Advisory Board, as required by this RFA, to provide community leadership, recruit women for the work group and thereafter support and oversee the project;and 3) two Community Host organizations who will provide the facilities and culturally-competent services in support of the group and board activities. Within the tight timeframe and structure specified in the RFA, the specific aims of the proposal are: 1) Conduct collaborative research on substance use and misuse among Cambodian American women, select a priority area, and design a pilot intervention with leadership from Cambodian American women of the East Bay Area. While substance use will provide a starting place, the co-research may direct intervention activities toward underlying causes of substance abuse (6-month planning phase). 2) Carry out a pilot intervention study to address the priority issue through continued collaboration, as well as evaluate these efforts (18-month intervention phase). 3) Build the capacities of the Cambodian American community to assess health issues affecting members and respond proactively, and of scientific researchers to partner with communities (on- going).

Public Health Relevance

Traditional approaches to mental health services may not meet the needs of Cambodian Americans. Research on substance abuse treatment and prevention for Cambodian Americans has specifically recommended many elements of the CBPR approach. Utilizing participants'life experiences together with existing research and theory, the proposed project may address unmet needs underlying mental health and substance use and misuse of Cambodian American women as well as strengthen their capacities to address these conditions and execute intervention activities to effect positive change in their community.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-PA (12))
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Goodwin, Paula
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Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
United States
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Lee, Juliet P; Kirkpatrick, Sean; Rojas-Cheatham, Ann et al. (2016) Improving the Health of Cambodian Americans: Grassroots Approaches and Root Causes. Prog Community Health Partnersh 10:113-21
Pagano, Anna; Lee, Juliet P; Sin, Talaya (2014) Understanding alcohol use among U.S. Cambodians: how useful is the concept of cultural norms? Subst Use Misuse 49:999-1006