A measure of community members’ perceptions of the impacts of research partnerships in health and social services
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Currently, there are no psychometrically sound outcome measures by which to assess the impacts of research partnerships. This article describes the development of a 33-item, survey questionnaire measuring community members' perceptions of the impact of research partnerships addressing health or social issues. The Community Impacts of Research Oriented Partnerships (CIROP) was developed using information from the literatures on health promotion, community development, research utilization, and community-based participatory research, and from focus groups involving 29 key informants. Data from 174 community members were used to determine the factor structure, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability of the four CIROP scales, and to provide evidence of construct validity. The CIROP informs research partnerships about the extent of their impact in the areas of Personal Knowledge Development, Personal Research Skill Development, Organizational/Group Access To and Use of Information, and Community and Organizational Development, allowing them to demonstrate accountability to funding bodies. As well, the CIROP can be used as a research tool to assess the effectiveness of knowledge sharing approaches, determine the most influential activities of research partnerships, and determine structural characteristics of partnerships associated with various types of impact. The CIROP provides a better understanding of community members' perspectives and expectations of research partnerships, with important implications for knowledge transfer and uptake.