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Addressing cancer disparities via community network mobilization and intersectoral partnerships: a social network analysis.

Ramanadhan S, Salhi C, Achille E, Baril N, D'Entremont K, Grullon M, Judge C, Oppenheimer S, Reeves C, Savage C, Viswanath K - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: Over four years of collaboration, the number of intersectoral connections reported by members (intersectoral out-degree) increased, as did the extent to which such connections were reported reciprocally (intersectoral reciprocity).We found a positive and statistically significant relationship between intersectoral out-degree and community activities and policy engagement (the relationship was borderline significant for grants/publications).We found a positive and statistically significant relationship between intersectoral reciprocity and community activities and grants/publications (the relationship was borderline significant for policy engagement).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. shoba_ramanadhan@dfci.harvard.edu

ABSTRACT
Community mobilization and collaboration among diverse partners are vital components of the effort to reduce and eliminate cancer disparities in the United States. We studied the development and impact of intersectoral connections among the members of the Massachusetts Community Network for Cancer Education, Research, and Training (MassCONECT). As one of the Community Network Program sites funded by the National Cancer Institute, this infrastructure-building initiative utilized principles of Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) to unite community coalitions, researchers, policymakers, and other important stakeholders to address cancer disparities in three Massachusetts communities: Boston, Lawrence, and Worcester. We conducted a cross-sectional, sociometric network analysis four years after the network was formed. A total of 38 of 55 members participated in the study (69% response rate). Over four years of collaboration, the number of intersectoral connections reported by members (intersectoral out-degree) increased, as did the extent to which such connections were reported reciprocally (intersectoral reciprocity). We assessed relationships between these markers of intersectoral collaboration and three intermediate outcomes in the effort to reduce and eliminate cancer disparities: delivery of community activities, policy engagement, and grants/publications. We found a positive and statistically significant relationship between intersectoral out-degree and community activities and policy engagement (the relationship was borderline significant for grants/publications). We found a positive and statistically significant relationship between intersectoral reciprocity and community activities and grants/publications (the relationship was borderline significant for policy engagement). The study suggests that intersectoral connections may be important drivers of diverse intermediate outcomes in the effort to reduce and eliminate cancer disparities. The findings support investment in infrastructure-building and intersectoral mobilization in addressing disparities and highlight the benefits of using CBPR approaches for such work.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Connections among 38 MassCONECT members at network inception (panel A) and Year 4 (panel B).Lines represent connections between network members, arrows reference direction(s) of connections. Node size represents degree, or number of connections per member.
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pone-0032130-g001: Connections among 38 MassCONECT members at network inception (panel A) and Year 4 (panel B).Lines represent connections between network members, arrows reference direction(s) of connections. Node size represents degree, or number of connections per member.

Mentions: The network diagrams presented in Figure 1 provide a visual aid to understand the changes in the network from Inception to Year 4. First, there is an increase in the number of connections (represented by lines between shapes, which represent members) from Network Inception to Year 4. The network density, or the proportion of all possible ties reported, was 16% at Network Inception and 35% at Year 4. The figure also highlights increasing diversity of key players. Compared to Network Inception, the map at Year 4 has a large number of network members who appear to be important to the network and they come from a wider range of sectors. This interpretation is supported by examining the network centralization, or the extent to which the network is focused on a small number of members, which decreased from 61% to 44% when considering out-degree (or outgoing connections). A final important network-level metric is reciprocity. We found that reciprocity (or connections that are reported by both members of a pair) was 19% at Network Inception and 54% at Year 4.


Addressing cancer disparities via community network mobilization and intersectoral partnerships: a social network analysis.

Ramanadhan S, Salhi C, Achille E, Baril N, D'Entremont K, Grullon M, Judge C, Oppenheimer S, Reeves C, Savage C, Viswanath K - PLoS ONE (2012)

Connections among 38 MassCONECT members at network inception (panel A) and Year 4 (panel B).Lines represent connections between network members, arrows reference direction(s) of connections. Node size represents degree, or number of connections per member.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3285642&req=5

pone-0032130-g001: Connections among 38 MassCONECT members at network inception (panel A) and Year 4 (panel B).Lines represent connections between network members, arrows reference direction(s) of connections. Node size represents degree, or number of connections per member.
Mentions: The network diagrams presented in Figure 1 provide a visual aid to understand the changes in the network from Inception to Year 4. First, there is an increase in the number of connections (represented by lines between shapes, which represent members) from Network Inception to Year 4. The network density, or the proportion of all possible ties reported, was 16% at Network Inception and 35% at Year 4. The figure also highlights increasing diversity of key players. Compared to Network Inception, the map at Year 4 has a large number of network members who appear to be important to the network and they come from a wider range of sectors. This interpretation is supported by examining the network centralization, or the extent to which the network is focused on a small number of members, which decreased from 61% to 44% when considering out-degree (or outgoing connections). A final important network-level metric is reciprocity. We found that reciprocity (or connections that are reported by both members of a pair) was 19% at Network Inception and 54% at Year 4.

Bottom Line: Over four years of collaboration, the number of intersectoral connections reported by members (intersectoral out-degree) increased, as did the extent to which such connections were reported reciprocally (intersectoral reciprocity).We found a positive and statistically significant relationship between intersectoral out-degree and community activities and policy engagement (the relationship was borderline significant for grants/publications).We found a positive and statistically significant relationship between intersectoral reciprocity and community activities and grants/publications (the relationship was borderline significant for policy engagement).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. shoba_ramanadhan@dfci.harvard.edu

ABSTRACT
Community mobilization and collaboration among diverse partners are vital components of the effort to reduce and eliminate cancer disparities in the United States. We studied the development and impact of intersectoral connections among the members of the Massachusetts Community Network for Cancer Education, Research, and Training (MassCONECT). As one of the Community Network Program sites funded by the National Cancer Institute, this infrastructure-building initiative utilized principles of Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) to unite community coalitions, researchers, policymakers, and other important stakeholders to address cancer disparities in three Massachusetts communities: Boston, Lawrence, and Worcester. We conducted a cross-sectional, sociometric network analysis four years after the network was formed. A total of 38 of 55 members participated in the study (69% response rate). Over four years of collaboration, the number of intersectoral connections reported by members (intersectoral out-degree) increased, as did the extent to which such connections were reported reciprocally (intersectoral reciprocity). We assessed relationships between these markers of intersectoral collaboration and three intermediate outcomes in the effort to reduce and eliminate cancer disparities: delivery of community activities, policy engagement, and grants/publications. We found a positive and statistically significant relationship between intersectoral out-degree and community activities and policy engagement (the relationship was borderline significant for grants/publications). We found a positive and statistically significant relationship between intersectoral reciprocity and community activities and grants/publications (the relationship was borderline significant for policy engagement). The study suggests that intersectoral connections may be important drivers of diverse intermediate outcomes in the effort to reduce and eliminate cancer disparities. The findings support investment in infrastructure-building and intersectoral mobilization in addressing disparities and highlight the benefits of using CBPR approaches for such work.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus