Comprehensive Primary Health Care in the Island Lake Communities: What does it mean and how does it look?

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Scramstad, Carly
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Introduction: As part of a global project on Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), this project was designed to identify the health beliefs and values of the residents of Garden Hill First Nation and to design a governance model for a CPHC system that would best reflect these health beliefs and values. Methods: The study had three components: First, a research agreement that appropriately recognized and respected the communities’ rights to own, control, access and possess the knowledge generated through the research was negotiated and signed. A literature review was performed to identify any previous articles on First Nations’ conceptualizations of health and on CPHC, especially in a First Nations’ context. Lastly, community level data gathering was in the form of modified focus group activities for youth (age 19-29), adults and elders. The focus groups were recorded and transcribed, and analyzed by three members of the research team for major themes. Results: The following themes were identified as either components of, barriers to, or conditions necessary for health: healthy and affordable food, physical activity, healthy body weights, being clean (personal hygiene, environmental cleanliness), mental health, substance abuse, prenatal health, parenting, link to the land, traditional food, traditional medicine, water, housing, expense of basic necessities, community perspective, community participation/ engagement, community independence, community leadership responsibilities, advocacy, equity, and safe and accessible health care. Of the five criterion of a CPHC system, the third tenet regarding the improvement of social and environmental factors that impact on health was the most significantly emphasized.