Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area

Tags: health, social sciences, well-being, health services, Inuit

Principal Investigator: Etter, Meghan (1)
Licence Number: 16918
Organization: Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Licensed Year(s): 2021
Issued: Nov 26, 2021
Project Team: Pauley Tedoff, Caryl Marbella, Evelyn Storr, Jenn Parrott, Elizabeth Kolb, Gerald Inglangasuk, Annie Felix, Christopher Ruben, Gilbert Olifie, Anita Pokiak

Objective(s): To generate high-quality, Inuit-determined, and Inuit-owned data to monitor changes in Inuit health, identify gaps in health services, and inform health decision-making and programming.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.5101.

The primary objective of the Qanuippitaa? National Inuit Health Survey (QNIHS) is to generate high-quality, Inuit-determined, and Inuit-owned data to monitor changes in Inuit health, identify gaps in health services, and inform health decision-making and programming. The overarching goal is to improve the health and well-being of Inuit in Canada.

Participants will complete an hour-long survey using Samsung Galaxy handheld tablets and will be asked to participate in a non-invasive clinical component, which will include height, weight, and blood pressure measurements, as well as an oral health screening. Participants will have the option of completing both survey components in English or any of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region’s (ISR) three official languages: Sallirmiutun, Uummarmiutun, and Kangiryuarmiutun.

Eligibility to participate will be limited to Inuvialuit beneficiaries living in the six communities that comprise the ISR. Based on sample size calculations, the research team estimate that 1,500 households will need to be randomly selected, in order to reach the target sample size of 1,400 individuals. Households will be randomly selected from complete lists of Inuvialuit residences in the ISR, ensuring proportional representation in all communities, except communities with populations under 500: Aklavik (n=263), Paulatuk (n=211), Ulukhaktok (n=257), and Sachs Harbor (n=72). In these communities, all Inuvialuit will be invited to participate in the survey. All Inuvialuit living in the selected households will be included in the survey. To ensure that only Inuvialuit participate in the survey, the research team have included a screening question at the beginning of the survey, which asks the participant if they are Inuk and of which land claim agreement, they are a beneficiary. Any beneficiary who was not selected and who insists on participating will be allowed to do so, only after they are informed that their data will be stored separately and will not be used in primary analyses. The team may include this data in secondary analyses, depending on whether these participants differ from the main sample population in ways that may bias analyses. Data will be aggregated at the community level to ensure participant anonymity.

The questionnaire and clinical component will be administered by staff who are recruited locally in the ISR. The oral health screening will be administered by a licensed dental hygienist. All staff will be required to complete a multi-day training program, which will address all aspects of survey administration (questionnaire facilitation, participant anonymity and confidentiality, participant wellbeing etc.).

QNIHS is partnering with the software company Voxco to adapt the survey questionnaire to electronic format. Voxco was chosen, based on consensus of representatives from all four Inuit regions. Voxco being a Canadian company and the firm’s extensive experience developing field-based surveys were the main factors informing the decision. Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) was further in favor of Voxco, due to the company’s secure data hosting service, which IRC will be using until adequate in-house servers are available.

The ISR has a Regional Steering Committee for the QNIHS with representation from all six communities. The community representatives (e.g., youth, elders and Community Corporation Directors) provide guidance on survey content and logistics for roll-out in each community. It is important that the community members are informed and are part of the decision-making at every step of the process. The local fieldworkers are recruited via the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Human Resources Department. It was advertised using various methods (e.g. Facebook, posters, rolling channel etc.) to all beneficiaries who are interested to complete multi-day training program, designed to build research capacity by addressing all aspects of research administration.

The QNIHS Survey will be advertised in various ways: posters in communities; presentations to leadership in each community, spearheaded by the Health and Wellness Division; announcements on Facebook and Instagram, which provide the link to the official QNIHS-ISR website; and, presentations and town hall discussions led by IRC’s Health and Wellness Division during community tours.

The results of the clinical component of the survey will be provided to participants at the time of data collection. Findings from data analysis will be shared with communities through public, community-wide presentations, as well as reports and “one-pagers” that summarize findings in plain, easy to understand language. All reports will be made available in both print and electronic formats.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from November 26, 2021 to December 31, 2021.