The effects of a changed climate and environment on the nutrition and health of Dene First Nations
Principal Investigator: Duran, Nelida (Nellie) (1)
Licence Number: 14801
Organization: UCLA School of Public Health, Department of Community Health Sciences
Licenced Year(s): 2011 2010
Issued: Sep 01, 2010
Project Team: Nelida (Nellie) Duran (Principal Investigator, UCLA )

Objective(s): To describe the effects of climate change and variability on human nutrition and related health outcomes of Dene First Nations

Project Description: The purpose of this research project is to describe the effects of climate change and variability on human nutrition and related health outcomes of Dene First Nations. The specific aims are to (1) Describe the changes in: the intake of traditional food, diet, food security, physical activity, chronic disease, and socio-cultural attributes of nutrition; and (2) Create, through grounded theory methodology, an explanatory model to describe nutrition-related transitions and its effect on health in a changed climate and environment.

A constructivist approach to the grounded theory methodology will be utilized in this study. Grounded theory methodology involves the use of systematic yet flexible guidelines for collecting and analyzing qualitative data to construct theories grounded in the data. A constructivist approach to grounded theory recognizes that the investigator is part of the world being studied and data collected, and is inherently involved in interpreting the data and co-constructing its meaning.

The investigator will review the informed consent form with eligible participants. Participants will be given time to review the informed consent form and ask questions. Once any questions have been answered, the investigator will ask the participant to sign the informed consent form and provide a copy of the signed consent form to the participant. Next, the participant will be asked for their permission to start the digital audio-recording. All interviews will take place in a private setting (e.g. an office.) Participants will be asked open-ended questions that elicit rich stories based on the participant’s lived experience that reveal their views, feelings, intentions and actions. At the conclusion of the interview and upon the participant’s exit, the investigator will document her reflection on the interview’s context, processes, insights, impressions and observations; these are called field notes.

Digital audio-recordings will be transcribed verbatim and all personal identifying information will be removed. The investigator will listen to the digital audio-recording and read the transcript simultaneously to assure for accuracy and document additional insights, impressions and observations about the interview. The digital audio-recordings will be deleted upon completing the transcription and its review.

Data collected and incorporated into the analysis will include: field notes, codes [qualitative coding of the transcripts] and memos. Qualitative coding entails the investigator labeling segments of the data [transcripts] that depict what each segment is about. Data analysis will occur early in the study and will use qualitative coding to separate, sort and synthesize data. Grounded theory analyzes data through constant comparison. Memos are preliminary analytic notes about the codes, comparisons between the codes and other ideas about the data. The investigator will write memos and analyze the data to define ideas that best interpret the data; these ideas will form analytic categories. Review of the data will also influence changes in the interview guide and strategies. Theoretical sampling will be used to sample participants that help explain the analytic categories and the subsequent theory being developed. As the analytic categories begin to coalesce the investigator will move the analysis to a more theoretical [abstract] level where relationships between the analytic categories provide a conceptual framework of the studied experience [First Nations nutrition-related transitions in a changed climate and environment]. The theoretical level of analysis describes how the categories are related and specify the variations, relevant conditions and consequences of the relationships between analytic categories. The levels of abstraction are built directly from the data. The investigator will gather additional data [theoretical sampling] to check and refine the emerging analytic categories and theory. The end result culminates into a “grounded theory” that is an abstract theoretical understanding of the studied experience.

The researcher will prepare a quarterly progress report that will be distributed to the Dene National Office and participating band offices. At the conclusion of the project, the researcher will travel to the participating communities and hold public community meetings to report on the overall project results. A final report will be published and provided to the participating communities and the Dene National Office.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from September 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010.