Researchers from Dalhousie University and Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada develop model to determine readiness to engage in HIV initiatives in Nunavut

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by ahnationtalk on October 24, 2019168 Views

Thursday, October 24, 2019 (Halifax, NS) – Researchers are concerned that Inuit, especially individuals living in Northern communities, are not getting enough access to confidential and anonymous HIV testing, education and prevention.

Dr. Audrey Steenbeek, a Professor in the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University, and Tracy O’Hearn, the Executive Director of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, have collaborated on the Inuit adaptation of the Community Readiness Model (CRM). Developed by Colorado State University, this tool can help communities determine how ready they are to deal with a specific issue. This specific research project focused on adapting, pre-testing and using the Community Readiness Model to identify how ready three Inuit communities in Nunavut were to handle HIV testing, education and prevention.

“Pauktuutit has welcomed this partnership with Dr. Steenbeek and the project research team,” says Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada. “This adapted community readiness tool for Inuit communities will be helpful to the range of issues Pauktuutit addresses to contribute to the health and wellness of Inuit women, children and families.”

The first year of the project was focused on adapting, validating and translating the CRM. This included in-person meetings and multiple teleconferences with the project advisory committee.

The second and third years of the project involved pre-testing and using the adapted CRM to measure community readiness to engage in HIV initiatives in three communities: Arviat, Clyde River and Kugluktuk. Based on the results, the participants and the respective community health representative (CHRs) identified two priority areas and developed appropriate strategies.

The third year also included hosting a two day workshop in Ottawa, on October 9 and 10 2019, which brought together the research team, the Canadian Inuit HIV/AIDS Network (CIHAN) and CHRs to discuss the research project and future directions.

“In partnership with Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, our research aims to help Inuit communities in Canada remain HIV free and achieve better health outcomes for future generations to come,” says Dr. Steenbeek.

Funding for the project came from an Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Operating Grant (HIV/AIDS CBR Program- Aboriginal). Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR collaborates with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.


Media contact:

Michele Charlton
Communications Advisor, Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation
Dalhousie University
Tel: (902) 494-4148
Cell: (902) 222-2817

Lindsay Bacigal
Communications Coordinator
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
Tel: 1 (613) 238-3977 ext. 248


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