A novel recruiting and surveying method: Participatory research during a Pacific Islander community’s traditional cultural event

Main Article Content

Grace Donoho
Pearl McElfish
Rachel Avants
Emily Hallgren


Little is known about the health status of Marshallese, a Pacific Islander subpopulation living in the United States. The Marshallese have established a growing community in Northwest Arkansas, providing a unique opportunity for increasing knowledge regarding the health of this minority group. This article describes how a community-based participatory research process was used by a community and university coalition to identify and refine questionnaires and recruit study participants. Questionnaires were self-administered on computers during a one-week traditional cultural event. A total of 874 Marshallese from Arkansas completed the questionnaire, exceeding the goal of 600 respondents. Lessons learned, including the level and timing of involvement of both the leadership and the community at large, are discussed in detail. This approach enhanced communication and collaboration between the Marshallese community, service providers and researchers, resulting in higher participation and interest among the Marshallese community.

Keywords: participatory research, minority populations, community health assessment, community coalition, Marshallese

Article Details

Practice-based articles (Non-refereed)
Author Biography

Pearl McElfish, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest

Director of Research