Accessing sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) and sexual health services in Canada – perspectives of health and social service providers and service users

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: health, social sciences, sexually transmitted infection

Principal Investigator: Wagner, Anne (1)
Licence Number: 15930
Organization: Ryerson University
Licenced Year(s): 2016
Issued: Jul 27, 2016
Project Team: Rachel MacLean (Supervisor, Canadian Public Health Association), Dr. Anne Wagner (Lead researcher, Ryerson University ), Dr. Carmen Logie (Researcher , University of Toronto)

Objective(s): To explore the attitudes, beliefs and experiences of service users related to sexually transmitted and blood-born infection-related services as well as sexual health services in Canada.

Project Description: To explore the attitudes, beliefs and experiences of service users related to STBBI-related (sexually transmitted and blood-born infection-related) services as well as sexual health services in Canada, and to explore the primary barriers and facilitators to positive experiences.

The proposed study consists of a collection of focus groups across Canada to determine the attitudes, beliefs and experiences related to accessing STBBI-related services (e.g., prevention, testing and treatment services) as well as sexual health services (e.g., sexual health counselling). The goal of the focus groups is to inform policy and practice and reduce stigma and other barriers to care for STBBIs. Six focus groups will be run in geographically diverse areas of Canada (Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Northwest Territories). Two groups will consist of healthcare health and social service providers, and four groups will consist of service users.

Within the Northwest Territories, two focus group sessions with service users (defined as anyone over the age of 18 with experience accessing sexual health or STBBI-related services in the last five years) are being proposed for Yellowknife and Behchoko. Each focus group will be comprised of 6-10 individuals; the focus groups will last approximately 60-90 minutes and will be audiotaped to allow for accurate note-taking. Using a semi-structured interview guide, a member of the research team will facilitate a discussion of the participants’ experiences accessing sexual health and/or STBBI-related services in Canada. At the outset of the focus group, participants will be asked to provide written informed consent, and will be asked to complete a brief demographic questionnaire. Participants will be recruited through CPHA (Canadian Public Health Association) listservs as well as recruitment via health and social service organizations in the community (using approved recruitment materials). Debriefing materials, including links to further information about STBBI prevention and care, will be provided at the end of the focus group. The exact timing of these focus groups is yet to be determined, though it is anticipated that the focus groups will occur in mid-September 2016.

As part of this study, the research team will be conducting two focus groups in Yellowknife and Behchoko. These focus groups will involve service users of sexual health or sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection related services in Canada. As part of a group of 6-10, participants will be asked to discuss their experiences accessing sexual health or STBBI-related services in Canada. This will provide an opportunity for participants to connect and to learn from one another.

A manuscript detailing the study findings (in aggregate form) will be submitted to various peer-reviewed journals. In addition, CPHA will share a summary report detailing the study findings in aggregate form with the host communities (i.e., Selkirk MB, Toronto ON, Fredericton ON, Yellowknife NWT and Behchoko NWT). It is anticipated that the study findings will help those organizations involved in sexual health and/or STBBI prevention and care in Northwest Territories assess and improve their service provision.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from September 5, 2016 to September 30, 2016.