Project community diagnosis: Participatory research as a first step toward community involvement in primary health care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

'Community participation' and 'bottom up planning' have become fashionable themes in international health circles. However, in the absence of sociocultural perspective these themes remain largely rhetoric. In this paper, a deprofessionalization of social science is advocated in the service of participatory research as a first step towards community involvement in primary health care. Deprofessionalization is suggested as an adjunct to, not a replacement for in-depth professional social science research. An exploratory community diagnosis of health project conducted in rural south India is described. During the project, lay researchers received rudimentary social science field training and collected data on health behaviour deemed important to health planners as well as the health concerns of the community. Illustrative data, generated by the project is presented on the rural poors' utilization of government health facilities, their attitudes towards Primary Health Centre staff, and their ideas about how a proposed community health worker scheme could best serve them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-252
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

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primary health care
Primary Health Care
health care
Social Sciences
Health
health
deprofessionalization
Research
community
social science
health circle
community health worker
Health Facilities
Health Behavior
local participation
India
health behavior
Research Personnel
Community Participation
project

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "'Community participation' and 'bottom up planning' have become fashionable themes in international health circles. However, in the absence of sociocultural perspective these themes remain largely rhetoric. In this paper, a deprofessionalization of social science is advocated in the service of participatory research as a first step towards community involvement in primary health care. Deprofessionalization is suggested as an adjunct to, not a replacement for in-depth professional social science research. An exploratory community diagnosis of health project conducted in rural south India is described. During the project, lay researchers received rudimentary social science field training and collected data on health behaviour deemed important to health planners as well as the health concerns of the community. Illustrative data, generated by the project is presented on the rural poors' utilization of government health facilities, their attitudes towards Primary Health Centre staff, and their ideas about how a proposed community health worker scheme could best serve them.",
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