PAN has a very active Community-Based Research (CBR) Department, which has been built with input and leadership from community-members, people with lived experiences and other partners from across BC. We currently have three major areas of research but we also actively work to build capacity relating to CBR with our members and allies across the province.
Positive Living, Positive Homes Study
PAN’s community-based research (CBR) study Positive Living, Positive Homes (PLPH), looking at HIV and housing in BC, continues in its knowledge translation phase, sharing findings to communities at conferences and through video, practical resources and blogs with findings to ponder. This study is co-led with Dr. Cathy Worthington at the University of Victoria (UVIC).
As part of knowledge translation for PLPH we have developed the new HIV Housing Toolkit. This multi-module toolkit came out of a need expressed by community members: a need for a resource that would help people living with HIV and service providers who support people living with HIV find information about accessing safe and appropriate housing in BC. PAN also developed several downloadable and printable graphics and resources that provide more information on topics discussed in the Toolkit.
A key summary and engagement tool produced was the whiteboard video, What supports housing and health for people living with HIV in BC?, which explains some of the study findings in engaging animation. Other knowledge translation activities for PLPH included two conference appearances: a presentation at the Fifty-first National Congress on Housing and Homelessness in Victoria and a poster at the 2019 Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research (CAHR) in Saskatoon. Finally, we wrote several blog posts on findings from PLPH, including on PLPH and the Lower Mainland’s affordability crisis; experiences and stories about children within PLPH and housing insecurity and the experience of time.
BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index
There has also been a lot going on for the BC People Living with HIV Stigma Index. This study is co-led by Dr. Cathy Worthington and Sophie Bannar-Martin at Island Health. We have worked on developing knowledge translation products including a summary whiteboard video on findings and next steps for the project and other presentations and summary sheets found on the study website. This year we completed analysis on in-depth, evaluation interviews completed with the six the Peer Research Associates who implemented the Stigma Index across BC led us to develop this resource for use by organizations and institutions: PAN’s Checklist: What needs to be in place to provide adequate support to peer researchers? This initiative continues to be peer-driven and led and is moving into a new stage of research and project planning looking more exclusively on stigma reduction intervention planning in BC and exploring whether there are common evaluation tools that could be deployed for these kinds of interventions.
Making it Work
PAN’s Making It Work (MIW) CBR study, co-led by PAN, Sherri Pooyak at the Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Community-Based Research Collaborative Centre (AHA Centre) and Dr. Nancy Clark at UVIC is an Indigenous-focused, community-based research project in British Columbia. MIW is looking at whether people living with HIV, hepatitis C, and associated health and social conditions experience better outcomes when they access organizations that link case management and community development services and/or approach service delivery with an Indigenous worldview of health and wellbeing. The study is trying to highlight not only if a program works, but who it works for, under what circumstances, and why. To answer these questions the study team is looking to realist evaluation, an evaluation approach that attempts to explain complex interventions.
The MIW study will continue over the next two years using community-based research and decolonizing methodology and explore the work of four organizations across the province. Over the last year pilot interviews were completed at one case study site for which analysis is nearly completed, relationship building has continued with our team across the province and with additional case study sites, a new research coordinator was hired (learn more about MIW Coordinator Joanna Mendell), and planning for the expansion of the project has been underworks. Additionally, the study team worked with an artist to develop a study logo that represents the important themes of this work. You can read more about the MIW logo here, and how the team worked together with Clayton Gauthier, a Cree/Dakelh artist to design a beautiful and symbolic logo for the study.
Building Community for Research
PAN is also pleased to continue to host and facilitate the CBR in BC Quarterly meetings (a community of practice for CBR projects across BC) and continues to seek out opportunities to build CBR capacity with partners across the province. Our team does this work through our CBR Musings blog and providing individual capacity-building support to teams as needed.
Thank you to the peers who give to this work as leaders, researchers, participants, and knowledge translators. To all the members, participants and supporters of our research teams, thanks for a productive year. Special thanks to our CBR staff members, Madeline Gallard, Joanna Mendell, Tabitha Steager (exited), and Joanna Tulloch (MPH Practicum student, exited). We are grateful for the funding and support from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS, the CIHR CBR Collaborative Centre (A Program of REACH), the AHA Centre, the Vancouver Foundation, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the BC Centre for Excellence, University of Victoria, and Island Health which have made this work possible.
For more information, contact Janice Duddy, Director of Evaluation and Community-Based Research, [email protected]
Image: Tim Mossholder, Unsplash