Research advisory board members' contributions and expectations in the USA
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This study focuses on the Implementation Community Collaborative Board (I-CCB) to identify members' anticipated contributions to and returns from the I-CCB; examine whether or not members achieved these contributions and returns over time; and explore barriers and facilitators that influenced accomplishments. Longitudinal study with repeated semi-structured in-depth interviews; baseline captured anticipated contributions and returns; 6- and 18-month follow-ups short- and longer-term achievements. We used content analysis to code/reduce text into variables, describe, count and compare categories. Participants anticipated involvement in I-CCB dynamics/governance and in research tasks/procedures. Anticipated returns included social support. Participants exerting influence on I-CCB's research agenda stayed the same over time. Participants conducting research doubled between follow-ups; those writing grant proposals increased by 50%. Participants receiving emotional support remained the same. Challenges: meetings steered by researchers; lack of time; use of jargon. Facilitators: outreaching to community; being affected by HIV; having overlapping identities/roles as researcher, service consumer and/or practitioner. Research partners can maximize facilitators, redress barriers and improve advisory board members' retention. Findings may help optimize the functioning of advisory boards worldwide.