Background: Safety-net hospitals, often in inner-city communities, provide a considerable level of care to low-income, uninsured, Medicare, Medicaid, and vulnerable populations. Establishing and performing research studies at safety-net hospitals may require additional planning due to the protections provided to ensure ethical research and the characteristics of the populations they serve. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a partnership approach to research that equitably involves community members, organizational representatives, and academic researchers in all aspects of the research process. The purpose of this study is to 1) report the application of community-based participatory research to develop the capacity to conduct a multilevel qualitative research study focused on minorities' participation in clinical trials in a safety-net hospital, and 2) discuss the lessons learned when planning research studies at safety-net hospital cancer centers.

Methods: This qualitative study discusses the implementation of CBPR in the preintervention process of a multilevel qualitative research study within a safety-net hospital cancer center in Atlanta, GA. The seven principles of CBPR guided the structure of project meetings with hospital leadership and administration, process for development of research documents, and obtaining regulatory approval.

Findings: Navigating the research approval process in a safety-net hospital and fostering relationships with key hospital leaders and administrators were critical to the initiation of the study. The study followed a university Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved protocol; however, there were hospital procedures and policies specific to the safety-net hospital that required modifications to the timeline and protocol. In addition to the IRB approval, the study had to undergo a separate approval process by two hospital regulatory boards. The CBPR approach fostered processes that enabled hospital leadership and administrators to contribute their expertise with shared responsibility and ownership. Through CBPR, the academic research team was better able to understand effective strategies for conducting research in a safety-net hospital. Building trust and establishing rapport with hospital leadership and administrators involved a series of meetings, collaboration on community and hospital-based events, transparency by describing the study's purpose, and what knowledge was being generated and how it would be used. Through the CBPR approach, a process was established to feed back the data, jointly interpret the data, disseminate the data, and translate the data into interventions and/or policy.

Conclusion: The information provided from this study is beneficial to future studies that partner with safety-net hospital cancer centers. When planning a study, researchers should follow CBPR principles to build trusting relationships with the hospital leadership and administrators.

Citation Format: Dexter Cooper, Reagan Durant, Desiree Rivers, Natalie Hernandez, Jennifer Creighton, Brian Rivers, Monica Harris. Utilizing community-based participatory research to facilitate the conduct of research in a safety-net hospital [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2018 Nov 2-5; New Orleans, LA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2020;29(6 Suppl):Abstract nr A039.