Why was the Inuit Health Survey developed?
Inuit had expressed a desire to develop a health project that would discover information about the health and wellness of Inuit adults, children and communities throughout the North. Inuit want health information and health research that is Inuit specific and of practical relevance so that informed decisions could help minimize the negative consequences of the rapid transitions that continue to occur in Arctic communities. Information from the survey will be useful in developing future health policy and public health interventions.
In accordance with C.I.N.E.’s participatory research policy, the cross-sectional health survey was guided by and developed with our Northern Partners and jurisdictional steering committee members and was the first comprehensive look at the health of Inuit in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) (Northwest Territories), Nunavut and Nunatsaivut (Northern Labrador). Results from the survey will form baseline information for possible future comparisons and an opportunity to link with the International Inuit Cohort, a follow-up evaluation to prospectively evaluate factors leading to progression of chronic diseases.
How was the research carried out?
Memoranda of Agreements were developed with jurisdictional steering committees as well as community – university research agreements inviting the Adult Inuit Health Survey to all communities in ISR, the Territory of Nunavut and Nunatsiavut. The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen ensured the safe transport of adult participants to and from communities. Approximately 100 individuals worked on the survey each year. Staff included 3 land teams, each comprising of one nurse and two assistants, one ship team which included nurses, laboratory technicians, bilingual interviewers, greeters, dietitians, specialists and graduate students. Additional logistics support was provided in the field and at McGill University / C.I.N.E.
The survey randomly selected households from each community and recruited people from within each household by inviting adults aged 18 years or older to participate.
A separate child health survey took place in Nunavut only and was conducted on land in communities by a travelling team of interviewers, health care professionals and research assistants. Randomly selected households were contacted and asked if they wanted their child, ages 3 – 5, to participate.
Where and when took the study place?
- The adult health survey took place in the late summer and fall in 2007 in Nunavut (Kivalliq and Baffin Communities) and in 2008 in Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut (Kitikmeot) and Nunatsiavut.
- The Nunavut child health survey also took place in late summer and fall of 2007 and 2008.