Building a Tribal–Academic Partnership to Address PTSD, Substance Misuse, and HIV Among American Indian Women

Cynthia R. Pearson, Lucy Smartlowit-Briggs, Annie Belcourt, Michele Bedard-Gilligan, Debra Kaysen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives. To describe our partnership and research infrastructure development strategies and discuss steps in developing a culturally grounded framework to obtain data and identify a trauma-informed evidence-based intervention. Method. We present funding strategies that develop and maintain the partnership and tools that guided research development. We share how a community research committee was formed and the steps taken to clarify the health concern and develop a culturally tailored framework. We present results from our needs/assets assessment that led to the selection of a trauma-informed intervention. Finally, we describe the agreements and protocols developed. Results. We produced a strong sustainable research team that brought program and research funding to the community. We created a framework and matrix of program objectives grounded in community knowledge. We produced preliminary data and research and publication guidelines that have facilitated program and research funding to address community-driven concerns. Conclusions. This study highlights the importance of bidirectional collaboration with American Indian communities, as well as the time and funding needed to maintain these relationships. A long-term approach is necessary to build a sustainable research infrastructure. Developing effective and efficient ways to build culturally based community research portfolios provides a critical step toward improving individual and community health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • American Indian and Alaskan Native
  • CBPR
  • CPT
  • HIV
  • PTSD
  • cognitive processing therapy
  • community-based participatory research
  • partnership development
  • posttraumatic stress disorder


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