Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Palmer-Wackerly, A. L., Krok, J. L., Dailey, P. M., Kight, L., & Krieger, J. L. (2014). Community engagement as a process and an outcome of developing culturally grounded health communication interventions: An example from the DECIDE project. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, 261-274. doi: 0.1007/s10464-013-9615-1


Copyright © 2014 Society for Community Research and Action; published by Springer. Used by permission.


Community engagement is a process often used in developing effective health communication interventions, especially in traditionally underserved cultural contexts. While the potentially positive outcomes of community engagement are well established, the communication processes that result in engagement with cultural groups are less apparent. The focus on the outcomes of engagement at the expense of describing how engagement occurs makes it difficult for methods to be improved upon and replicated by future studies. The purpose of the current manuscript is to illustrate the process of achieving community engagement through the development of a culturally grounded health communication intervention. We offer practical suggestions for implementing community engagement principles, as well as the benefits and challenges inherent in this approach to research. Key points are illustrated using examples from the DECIDE Project, a culturally grounded intervention for improving communication about clinical trials in the medically underserved Appalachian region.