Jen Jones Questions Who Circumpolar Health Research is Serving at the 16th International Congress on Circumpolar Health

CHI8amEWgAAm9NrJen Jones, PhD Candidate and Trudeau Scholar presented at the 16th International Congress on Circumpolar Health in Oulu, Finland.  In her oral presentation,entitled "Bridging dichotomies in Circumpolar health research: Findings from a systematic realist review", Jen questioned who Circumpolar health research serves.

Presentation Abstract:

Jen Jones, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Sherilee Harper (2015) Bridging dichotomies in Circumpolar health research: Findings from a systematic realist review. Oral Presentation at the 16th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, Oulu, Finland.


"Indigenous populations in the Circumpolar North continue to experience health inequities and social inequalities that challenge policy makers, community leaders, and health workers to make sense and use of available research. Yet the response to health disparities compounded by the heterogeneity of populations in the North, has not resulted in an approach or conversation that speaks to tensions between large-scale population health-based research that aim to produce replicable data and community-situated and often small in sample size approaches. If the aim of those working in research, healthcare, policy, or programming is to support health and wellbeing in Circumpolar regions, it becomes incumbent upon on all to consider how findings using a multiplicity of approaches can work together. This issue is particularly germane given that communities have charged traditional epidemiological approaches of not being able to respond to complexities and nuanced issues that inform health and wellbeing. However, findings from both large empirical approaches and community-driven research can support Northern communities address systematic health disparities. Building from a place of strength and recognizing that health research in the Circumpolar North is committed to responding to community level concerns, this presentation communicates findings from a systematic realistic review. Practices from those working in Circumpolar health are shared in effort to stimulate conversation to bridge perceived dichotomies of quantitative/qualitative, Western/Indigenous, and empirical/community driven research approaches as well as underlying assumptions that frame health research. Findings from this review seek to offer ground where researchers, communities, healthcare, other health professionals, and decision-makers using these multiple approaches can communicate findings resulting in customized, locally appropriate responses to health and wellness issues in the North."

(Photo taken by Ashlee Cunsolo Willox)