Community-Based Participatory Research and Human-Centered Design Principles to Advance Hearing Health Equity

Nicole L. Marrone, Carrie L. Nieman, Laura Coco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objectives: Inclusive and equitable research is an ethical imperative. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) as well as human-centered design are approaches that center partnership between community members and academic researchers. Together, academic-community research teams iteratively study community priorities, collaboratively develop ethical study designs, and co-create innovations that are accessible and meaningful to the community partners while advancing science. The foundation of the CBPR approach is reliant on its core principles of equity, colearning, shared power in decision-making, reciprocity, and mutual benefit. While the CBPR approach has been used extensively in public health and other areas of healthcare research, the approach is relatively new to audiology, otolaryngology, and hearing health research. The purpose of the present article is to advance an understanding of the CBPR approach, along with principles from human-centered design, in the context of research aimed to advance equity and access in hearing healthcare. Design: The literature is reviewed to provide an introduction for auditory scientists to the CBPR approach and human-centered design, including discussion of the underlying principles of CBPR and where it fits along a community-engaged continuum, theoretical and evaluation frameworks, as well as applications within auditory research. Results: Recent applications of CBPR have been framed broadly within the theoretical positions of the socioecological model for a systems-level approach to community-engaged research and the Health Services Utilization model within health services and disparities research using CBPR. Utilizing human-centered design strategies can work in tandem with a CBPR approach to engage a wide range of people in the research process and move toward the development of innovative yet feasible solutions. Conclusions: Leveraging the principles of CBPR is an intricate and dynamic process, may not be a fit for some topics, some researchers' skillsets, and may be beyond some projects' resources. When implemented skillfully and authentically, CBPR can be of benefit by elevating and empowering community voices and cultural perspectives historically marginalized in society and underrepresented within research. With a focus on health equity, this review of CBPR in the study of hearing healthcare emphasizes how this approach to research can help to advance inclusion, diversity, and access to innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33S-44S
JournalEar and hearing
Issue numberSupplement 1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • Academic-community partnerships
  • Audiology
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Health Services Utilization model
  • Health equity
  • Human-centered design
  • Multicultural
  • Otolaryngology
  • Social determinants of health
  • Socio-ecological model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing


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