Journal of Community Health

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 246–254

Educating the Public About Research Funded by the National Institutes of Health Using a Partnership Between an Academic Medical Center and Community-based Science Museum

  • Patricia A. Carney
  • Arwen Bunce
  • Nancy Perrin
  • Linda C. Howarth
  • Susan Griest
  • Phyllis Beemsterboer
  • William E. Cameron
Original Paper


The NIH roadmap has among its goals, to promote studies designed to improve public understanding of biomedical and behavioral science, and to develop strategies for promoting collaborations between scientists and communities toward improving the public’s health. Here, we report findings on the impact of a partnership between the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) designed to inform the public about health research being conducted in Oregon, which was linked to a 17-week traveling exhibition of BodyWorlds3. Measures included the public’s understanding of health knowledge, attitudes, intended health behaviors, and visitor experience in their interactions with OHSU experts/volunteers, which were collected using exit surveys administered verbally. Nine hundred fifty-three surveys were included in analyses. Among those who felt that health behavior change was relevant to them, 67.4% of smokers (n = 133) intended to change their smoking behavior, 58.6% (of 677) intended to change their eating habits, 60.3% (of 667) intended to change their exercise routine, and 47% (of 448) intended to change their dental care habits. Forty-six percent of these visited the OHSU research exhibits (n = 437), and responded to how the exhibit changed their understanding about and openness to participate in health research. Greater than 85% had a much improved understanding of NIH research at OHSU and >58% reported they would be willing to participate in future research studies at OHSU. In conclusion, research partnerships between academic institutions and community-based museums appear to be viable ways to inform the public about research, stimulate their interest as future participants, and possibly influence their intention to improve health behaviors.


Community health Health education Health promotion research 


  1. 1.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (1998). Behavioral risk factor surveillance system prevalence data.
  2. 2.
    Health Care Financing and Administration, Department of Health and Human Services Fiscal Year 2000 Freedom of Information Annual Report ( Accessed April 3, 2008.
  3. 3.
    Navarro, A. M., Voetsch, K. P., Liburd, L. C., Giles, H. W., Collins, J. L., & National Expert Panel on Community Health Promotion. (2007). Charting the future of community health promotion: Recommendations from the National Expert Panel on Community Health Promotion. Preventing Chronic Disease, 4(3), A68.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives ( Accessed September 7, 2008.
  5. 5.
    Ivanitskaya, L., O’Boyle, I., & Casey, A. M. (2006). Health information literacy and competencies of information age students: Results from the interactive online Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA). Journal of Medical Internet Research, 8(2), e6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Logan, R. A., & Tse, T. (2007). A multidiscipline conceptual framework for consumer health informatics. Medinfo, 12(2), 1169–1173.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Potts, H. W. (2006). Is e-health progressing faster than e-health research? Journal of Medical Internet Research, 8(3), 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Resnick, B., Vogel, A., & Luisi, D. (2006). Motivating minority older adults to exercise. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 12(1), 17–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hughes, S. L., Williams, B., Molina, L. C., Bayles, C., Bryant, L. L., Harris, J. R., et al. (2005). Characteristics of physical activity programs for older adults: Results of a multisite survey. Gerontologist, 45(5), 667–675.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Zahuranec, D. B., Morgenstern, L. B., Garcia, N. M., Conley, K. M., Lisabeth, L. D., Rank, G. S., et al. (2008). Stroke health and risk education (SHARE) pilot project: Feasibility and need for church-based stroke health promotion in a bi-ethnic community. Stroke, 39(5), 1583–1585.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Campbell, M. K., Resnicow, K., Carr, C., Wang, T., & Williams, A. (2007). Process evaluation of an effective church-based diet intervention: Body & Soul. Health Education & Behavior, 34(6), 864–880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bopp, M., Lattimore, D., Wilcox, S., Laken, M., McClorin, L., Swinton, R., et al. (2007). Understanding physical activity participation in members of an African American church: A qualitative study. Health Education Research, 22(6), 815–826.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Body Worlds (German title: Körperwelten) ( Accessed September 7, 2008.
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
  16. 16.
    MacQueen, K. M., McLellan, E., Kay, K., & Milstein, B. (1998). Codebook development for team-based qualitative analysis. Cultural Anthropology Methods, 10(2), 31–36.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    White, K. M., Robinson, N. G., Young, R. M., Anderson, P. J., Hyde, M. K., Greenbank, S., et al. (2008). Testing an extended theory of planned behaviour to predict young people’s sun safety in a high risk area. British Journal of Health Psychology, 13(3), 435–448.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sioberg, S., Kim, K., & Reicks, M. (2004). Applying the theory of planned behavior to fruit and vegetable consumption by older adults. Journal of Nutrition and the Elderly, 23(4), 35–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Prochaska, J. O., & DiClementa, C. C. (1986). Toward a comprehensive model of change. In W. R. Miller & N. Healther (Eds.), Treating addictive behaviors: process of change (pp. 3–27). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bunce, A. E., Griest, S., Howarth, L.C., Beemsterboer, P., Perrin, N., Cameron, W. E, Carney, P. A. (In Review). Educating youth about research funded by the National Institutes of Health Using a Partnership between an Academic Medical Center and Community-based Science Museum.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Andrews, J. O., Bentley, G., Crawford, S., Pretlow, L., & Tingen, M. S. (2007). Using community-based participatory research to develop a culturally sensitive smoking cessation intervention with public housing neighborhoods. Ethnicity & Disease, 17(2), 331–337.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pazoki, R., Nabipour, I., Seyednezami, N., & Imami, S. R. (2007). Effects of a community-based healthy heart program on increasing healthy women’s physical activity: A randomized controlled trial guided by Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR). BMC Public Health, 7, 216.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fielden, S. J., Rusch, M. L., Masinda, M. T., Sands, J., Frankish, J., & Evoy, B. (2007). Key considerations for logic model development in research partnerships: A Canadian case study. Evaluation & Program Planning, 30(2), 115–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Moreno-John, G., Fleming, C., Ford, M. E., Lichtenberg, P., Mangione, C. M., Perez-Stable, E. J., et al. (2007). Mentoring in community-based participatory research: the RCMAR experience. Ethnicity & Disease, 17(1 Suppl 1), S33–S43.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Norris, K. C., Brusuelas, R., Jones, L., Miranda, J., Duru, O. K., & Mangione, C. M. (2007). Partnering with community-based organizations: an academic institution’s evolving perspective. Ethnicity & Disease, 17(1 Suppl 1), S27–S32.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Noe, T. D., Manson, S. M., Croy, C., McGough, H., Henderson, J. A., & Buchwald, D. S. (2007). The influence of community-based participatory research principles on the likelihood of participation in health research in American Indian communities. Ethnicity & Disease, 17(1 Suppl 1), S6–S14.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Chung, P. J., Travis, R., Jr., Kilpatrick, S. D., Elliott, M. N., Lui, C., Khandwala, S. B., et al. (2007). Acculturation and parent-adolescent communication about sex in Filipino-American families: A community-based participatory research study. The Journal of Adolescent Health, 40(6), 543–550.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Boyer, B. B., Mohatt, G. V., Pasker, R. L., Drew, E. M., & McGlone, K. K. (2007). Sharing results from complex disease genetics studies: A community based participatory research approach. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 66(1), 19–30.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Mapstone, J., Elbourne, D., Roberts, I. (2007). Strategies to improve recruitment to research studies. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2), MR000013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia A. Carney
    • 1
  • Arwen Bunce
    • 1
  • Nancy Perrin
    • 2
  • Linda C. Howarth
    • 3
  • Susan Griest
    • 3
  • Phyllis Beemsterboer
    • 4
  • William E. Cameron
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine, School of MedicineOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.School of NursingOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  3. 3.Oregon Hearing Research Center, School of MedicineOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  4. 4.School of DentistryOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  5. 5.Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, School of MedicineOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations