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Abstract

The tremendous Latino growth combined with the challenges of living in a nontraditional migration area make Latinos, particularly those who are undocumented, a “difficult-to-reach” and understudied population in research. We describe the development and practice of an immigrant community research team created to investigate and improve research quality regarding health-related needs, beliefs, and behaviors of recent Latino immigrants living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our community research team, Latinos Unidos por la Salud (LU-Salud), is composed of Latino immigrant community members and academic researchers working in a health research partnership. The community team members are considered “co-researchers” since LU-Salud was designed within a community-based participatory research framework where we engaged in shared decision making at each phase of the research process from design, data collection, and interpretation of findings to dissemination. The co-researcher approach promoted shared decision-making and community empowerment throughout the research process with our community members providing expertise about the “what” (Latino immigrant health-related beliefs and behaviors, questionnaire content, interpretation of data) and the “why” (to obtain perspectives from Latino immigrants who typically don’t engage with academics) and our academic members bringing expertise about the “how” (research design and methods, grant funding).

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