Use of Community-Based Participatory Research to Assess Environmental Determinants of Health: Challenges, Facilitators, and Implications for Universities


  • Shannon N. Zenk University of Illinois at Chicago
  • James S. House University of Michigan
  • Alison Benjamin Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision
  • Srimathi Kannan University of Michigan


Higher Education, Community-based Research, Community Stakeholders, Participatory Research, Health


The Healthy Environments Partnership is a community-based participatory research partnership investigating the contribution of neighborhood environments to racial disparities in cardiovascular health. HEP designed and implemented the Neighborhood Observational Checklist to document aspects of neighborhood physical and social environments. In this article, we use HEP's experiences with the checklist to discuss challenges and facilitators as well as benefits to universities involved in communitybased participatory research. We identify strategies universities can employ to support community-based participatory research.