A review of community engagement in cancer control studies among Indigenous people of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA Academic Article uri icon


  • This review aimed to address studies of cancer control in Indigenous populations, with a focus on: (1) the nature and extent of community engagement; and (2) the extent to which community engagement has facilitated successful outcomes. Articles addressing Indigenous cancer control using some degree of community engagement were identified by a search of the following electronic databases: MEDLINE (via Ovid and Pubmed), psycINFO, CINAHL and Google Scholar. Relevant studies were scored and analysed according to Green et al.'s guidelines for participatory research. Studies often engaged the community only minimally. Where studies resulted in successful outcomes, they tended to have included Indigenous community members in genuine research roles, from planning, to implementation, to presentation of results at conferences. Studies with positive health outcomes were often initiated by a combination of academic researchers and community members or organisations. This narrative review highlighted significant scope for improvement in community-based studies addressing Indigenous cancer control. Increased attention to the philosophical underpinnings of community engagement is required to ensure that the benefits of this approach are translated to achieve improved cancer control outcomes. An increased awareness of the benefits of community engagement may prove effective in conducting cancer control research that leads to improved outcomes in Indigenous communities.

publication date

  • 2012