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Workshop: Findings from Inuulluataarneq (Having the Good Life): A Community Based Participatory Research Project (CBPR) in Greenland

Presenters: Elizabeth Rink, Ruth Montgomery-Andersen, and Augustine Rosing

The workshop will discuss findings from Inuulluataarneq. The topics are discussed below.

STI Prevention: Inuulluataarneq consisted of a 7 session educational intervention to address STIs. The sessions included issues related to self-esteem, self-confidence, healthy relationships, knowing and respecting yourself, building trust in relationships, and communication skills with sex partner as well as with parents. Participants who participated in the research reported it was cool to have sex. A majority of the participants reported they were unsure about their risk of getting an STI. The majority of the participants reported not being comfortable talking with their sex partner about sex. Increased communication with a parent or significant adult in their life reduced chlamydia infection in the sample. The projects overall findings suggest that education and communication skill building reduce STIs among Greenlandic youth.

Parental Involvement: Data was collection from the parents or guardian of the young people who participated in Inuulluataarneq. The majority of the parents reported speaking with their child about how someone gets pregnant and how to prevent pregnancies. Fewer parents reported speaking with their child about how to prevent STIs and how to use a condom. Very few parents spoke with their child about sexuality such as understanding when sex is pleasurable, masturbation and knowing when you are in love. Focus group results conducted with parents found that parents would like more information and training on how to speak with their child about sexual and reproductive health.

CBPR: Inuulluataarneq was implemented in Uummannaq and Paamiut, Greenland. The same steps were taken at each site – the project’s internal advisory board recommended people to speak with in each community, the community contacts were then made, visits to each site were made, meetings with key community stakeholders were held to discuss the practicalities of implementing Inuulluataarneq in each community, subsequently outreach workers were hired in each community and the project implemented over the course of 12 months, data was collected and once compiled into easily understood frequency distributions in the form of bar charts were shared with the communities’ community advisory board  and results were analyzed as a group. At the project is in the process of giving back the full results to Uummannaq and Paamiut. In the experience of Inuulluataarneq CBPR is an effective framework for conducting research in Greenland.

Community Outreach: Researchers and the local community designed a social and culturally relevant for young people from 15 to 19 years old and their parents/guardians/support person. It is important to the community to understand that collaboration with researchers, the community, prevention officers and hospitals is part of being responsible for reducing STIs among young people. Collaboration and information giving is important so that the community can participate in research. In this project the young people and their parents/guardians/support person openly talked about sexual health.  It was important for communities to talk more about sexual health openly.  A Community Outreach Worker conducted the intervention with the young people teaching them how to live a healthier sexual life. Their parents/guardians/support person were also part of the project and meet to discuss how to talk with their children about sex. The community outreach worker was the point contact for the community and researchers. The Community Outreach Worker had face to face meetings with different leaders, teacher, students, and community organizations to update them about the project and get input from them about the project. Contact with project participants was made via phone, texting and meeting with them individually.