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“Nothing About Us, without Us.” How Community-Based Participatory Research Methods Were Adapted in an Indigenous End-of-Life Study Using Previously Collected Data

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2019

Sarah Funnell
Affiliation:
Department of Family Medicine, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.
Peter Tanuseputro
Affiliation:
Bruyère Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario.
Angeline Letendre
Affiliation:
Population, Public and Indigenous Health, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Alberta.
Lisa Bourque Bearskin
Affiliation:
School of Nursing, Tompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia.
Jennifer Walker
Affiliation:
School of Rural and Northern Health, School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario.
Corresponding

Abstract

Indigenous health research in Canada has a chequered past and has been identified as problematic and lacking in appropriate collaboration with Indigenous people. The Tri-Council Policy Statement on Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, Chapter 9 describes ethical conduct of research regarding First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. First Nations Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP®) Principles highlight the necessity of Indigenous engagement and governance. To ensure that the aims and activities of the research being developed are in full and meaningful partnership with Indigenous peoples and communities, community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods provide a process in which full engagement is possible. Research utilizing secondary data sets, such as routinely collected health administrative data, should no longer be excluded from this approach. Our aim was to describe how our research team of academic researchers and a national Indigenous health organization adapted CBPR methods in a research project using previously collected data to examine end-of-life health care service delivery gaps for Indigenous people in Ontario. We describe the process of how we developed our research partnership and how grounding principles and Indigenous ways of knowing guided our work together. Through the adaptation of CBPR methods, our research partnership illustrates a process of engagement that can guide others hoping to conduct Indigenous health research using previously collected data. We also present a transparent research agreement negotiated equally by a national Indigenous health organization and research scientists, which can also be used as a framework for others wishing to establish similar research partnerships. Ensuring that Indigenous perspectives are central to and reflected in the research process is essential when using health administrative data.

Résumé

La recherche en santé autochtone au Canada a été négligée dans le passé et qualifiée de problématique, notamment en raison du manque de collaboration avec les peuples autochtones. L’Énoncé de politique des trois Conseils sur l’éthique de la recherche avec des êtres humains décrit au chapitre 9 la conduite éthique de la recherche axée sur les Premières nations, les Inuits et les Métis. Les principes PCAP® des Premières nations (propriété, contrôle, accès et possession) soulignent l’importance majeure de l’engagement et de la gouvernance autochtones. En vue d’assurer que les buts et les activités de la recherche développée soient réalisés en partenariat complet et significatif avec les peuples et les communautés autochtones, il est possible de faire appel à des méthodes de recherche participative communautaire (RPC) intégrant leur plein engagement. Les recherches utilisant des ensembles de données secondaires, telles que les données administratives sur la santé recueillies en routine, ne devraient plus être exclues de cette approche. Notre objectif était de décrire comment notre équipe de chercheurs universitaires, alliée à un organisme national de santé autochtone, a adapté les méthodes de RPC dans le cadre d’un projet de recherche utilisant des données recueillies antérieurement pour examiner les lacunes dans la prestation de soins de fin de vie aux peuples autochtones en Ontario. Nous décrivons le processus d’élaboration de ce partenariat de recherche et expliquons comment l’intégration des principes de base et des processus de formation du savoir autochtones ont guidé cette collaboration. Notre partenariat de recherche, qui implique l’adaptation de méthodes de RPC, illustre un processus d’engagement qui pourrait guider d’autres chercheurs désirant mener des recherches en santé autochtone à l’aide de données déjà recueillies. Nous faisons aussi état d’une entente de recherche transparente, négociée équitablement entre un organisme national de santé autochtone et des chercheurs, qui pourrait servir de cadre pour des collaborations de recherche similaires. Il est essentiel de s’assurer que les perspectives autochtones soient au cœur des processus de recherche et qu’elles soient reflétées dans ceux-ci lorsque des données administratives sur la santé sont utilisées.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2019 

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Footnotes

We offer special acknowledgement to the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association for their partnership on this project. We also thank the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine, College of Family Physicians of Canada for supporting this project.

Owing to a database error, Lisa Bourque Bearskin’s ORCID ID was assigned to the wrong author in the original online version of this article. The error has been corrected here and online and an erratum has been published.

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