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P100: Exploring First Nations members emergency department experiences and concerns through participatory research methods

  • P. McLane (a1), D. Jagodzinsky (a1), L. Bill (a1), C. Barnabe (a1), B. R. Holroyd (a1), A. Phillips (a1), E. Louis (a1), B. Saddleback (a1), K. Rittenbach (a1), A. Bird (a1), N. Eshkakogan (a1) and B. Healy (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction: Emergency Departments (EDs) are frequently the first point of entry to access health services for First Nation (FN) members. In Alberta, FN members visit EDs at almost double the rate of non-FN persons. Furthermore, preliminary evidence demonstrates differences in ED experience for FN members as compared to the general population. The Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre, Maskwacis Health Services, Yellowhead Tribal Council, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, and Alberta Health Services are working together to research FN members ED experiences and concerns. Methods: This is participatory research guided by a two-eyed seeing approach that acknowledges the equal value of both Western and Indigenous worldviews. FN and non-FN leaders researchers are full partners in the development of the research project. Six sharing circles will be held in February 2018 across Alberta, with Elders, FN patients, FN and non-FN clinicians and FN and non-FN administrators. Sharing circles are similar to focus groups, but emphasize everyone having a turn to speak and demonstrating respect among participants in accordance with FN protocols. Elders will select the questions for discussion based on topics that arose in initial team meetings. Sharing circle discussions will be audio recorded and transcribed. Analysts will include both Western and Indigenous worldview researchers, who will collaboratively interpret findings. Elders will review, discuss, contextualize and expand upon study findings. The research is also guided by FN principles of Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession of FN information. It is through these principles that First Nation research projects can truly be classified as FN lead and driven. Results: Based on initial team meeting discussions, results of sharing circles are expected to provide insights on issues such as: healing, patient-provider communication (verbal and non-verbal), shared decision making, respect for patient preferences, experiences leading to trust or distrust, understandings of wait times and triage, times when multiple (repeat) ED presentations occur, distances travelled for care, choosing specific EDs when seeking care, impacts of stereotypes about FN patients, and racism and reconciliation. Conclusion: Understanding FN ED experience and bringing FN perspectives to Western conceptions of the goals and provision of ED care are important steps toward reconciliation.

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