sherilee harper

EcoHealth Research with Indigenous Communities

New Article Published: Climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut, Canada

Fig 3New Publication!

Our new published article presents the results of an exploratory study that used participatory methods to identify, characterize, and rank climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada.

Citation:

Harper, S.L. Edge, V.L., Ford, J., Cunsolo Willox, A., Wood, M., IHACC Research Team, Rigolet Inuit Community Government, and McEwen, S.A. (2015). Climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut, Canada. BMC Public Health, 15:605.  Click here to read the article (open access).

Abstract:

Background: This exploratory study used participatory methods to identify, characterize, and rank climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada.

Methods: A mixed method study design was used and involved collecting both qualitative and quantitative data at regional, community, and individual levels. In-depth interviews with regional health representatives were conducted throughout Nunatsiavut (n = 11). In addition, three PhotoVoice workshops were held with Rigolet community members (n = 11), where participants took photos of areas, items, or concepts that expressed how climate change is impacting their health. The workshop groups shared their photographs, discussed the stories and messages behind them, and then grouped photos into re-occurring themes. Two community surveys were administered in Rigolet to capture data on observed climatic and environmental changes in the area, and perceived impacts on health, wellbeing, and lifestyles (n = 187).

Results: Climate-sensitive health pathways were described in terms of inter-relationships between environmental and social determinants of Inuit health. The climate-sensitive health priorities for the region included food security, water security, mental health and wellbeing, new hazards and safety concerns, and health services and delivery.

Conclusions: The results highlight several climate-sensitive health priorities that are specific to the Nunatsiavut region, and suggest approaching health research and adaptation planning from an EcoHealth perspective.

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