Understanding A Woman's Journey to give Birth: A Community Engagement Photovoice Project

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Dehcho Region, North Slave Region, South Slave Region, Qikiqtaaluk Region

Tags: social sciences, policy, birthing experience, medical escorts

Principal Investigator: Cruz, Sheila (2)
Licence Number: 17036
Organization: None
Licensed Year(s): 2022
Issued: May 16, 2022
Project Team: Pertice Moffitt, Lea Leclerc

Objective(s): To understand what the escort policy means to the pregnant women and their escorts and what impacts it has on their overall birthing experience.

Project Description: This licence has been issued for the scientific research application No.5292.

The aim is to understand what the escort policy means to the pregnant women and the escorts and what impacts it has on the overall birthing experience. The objectives of this study are: 1) To understand the relationship of the escort to the pregnant woman and the rationale for escort choice when travelling to give birth from their home community to the hospital in Yellowknife or a facility outside the NWT; 2) To learn the roles, benefits and challenges of the escort and pregnant woman; and 3) How the non-medical escort policy affects the women’s birthing experience to identify gaps or improvements required in the escort policy.

This study will be using a method called photovoice to gather this information. Photovoice is defined as a qualitative method that uses photographs and stories, and employs community-based participatory research methodology to capture the reality of an experience such as the escort policy. Participants will be asked to take a picture that answers the question, “What does the escort policy mean to me?”. Photovoice provides a way for participants (pregnant women and the escorts) to tell a story through photographs and words about experiences with the escort policy. These images and stories will then be discussed in a group meeting. Each participant will present 1 to 2 photographs to the group that they feel best illuminate the escort policy. The facilitator will then work with the group to analyze the data (photographs and stories) by aligning similar images and stories together and then assigning them a theme. In this way, the participants are co- producing the findings. How the escort policy impacts pregnant women and their escorts using developed guiding questions to lead the discussion.

Investigators will mostly utilize online communication and telephone to conduct the photovoice process. When in-person meetings are allowed in the territory, investigators will utilize in-person communication with participants. The research team will use video conferencing software that lets you connect remotely for video or voice-calling meetings and interviews. Telephones and smartphones will also be utilized to conduct the interview.

The project will be advertised in the boarding homes where the women stay. A letter of information with the recruitment notice will also be sent to nursing stations in the communities. The research team hope that the nurses and community health representatives (CHR) will help to inform pregnant women about the study. The information will also be made available at the Northern Women’s Health Program, as many women and their partners participate in pre-birth classes. The research team will utilize snowball sampling as the team know the team cannot target all women at once, nor could the team travel to each community due to costs. Using the boarding home, CHRs, and nurses at nursing stations to help inform participants of the study will help the team get an adequate number of participants.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from May 12, 2022 to December 31, 2022