The wide-ranging literature summarized above shares several major themes:
- There are multiple reasons for community-engaged health promotion and research.
- Community engagement must be conducted in a manner that is respectful of all partners and mindful of their need to benefit from collaboration.
- It is important to understand context (in all its complexity) as it affects health problems and the development of health solutions.
- We must recognize that community-engaged health improvement is a long-term, evolving process.
Chapter 2 covers nine principles of community engagement that are grounded in the preceding literature. Succeeding chapters develop practical applications and examples of the issues discussed in the first two chapters, specifically in the areas of planning and implementing CEnR and health promotion (Chapters 3 and 5), creating the management and organizational support necessary for community engagement (Chapter 4), using social networking for community engagement (Chapter 6), and evaluating community-engaged projects (Chapter 7).
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