Catherine B. Charron, Alzahra Hudani, Tina Kaur, Tiffany Rose, Kelly Florence, Sadia Jama and Smita Pakhalé
Background: The Ottawa Citizen Engagement and Action Model (OCEAM) used a Community Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) approach by involving the most at-risk urban population. Community (peer) researchers participated in every step of the study despite the multiple challenges.
Objective: To assess the community researchers’ training and experiences in a CBPAR project, PROMPT: Participatory Research in Ottawa: Management and Point-of-care for Tobacco Dependence…
The Ottawa Citizen Engagement and Action Model (OCEAM) used a Community Based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR) approach by involving the most at-risk urban population. Community (peer) researchers participated in every step of the study despite the multiple challenges.
To assess the community researchers’ training and experiences in a CBPAR project, PROMPT: Participatory Research in Ottawa: Management and Point-of-care for Tobacco Dependence.
Four community researchers were recruited, representative of the PROMPT project’s target population with current or past poly-substance use; smoking tobacco; and/or being homeless or at-risk for homelessness. The community researchers participated in all phases of PROMPT, including study design, development of questionnaires, participant recruitment, administering consent forms and questionnaires, as well as hand-held spirometry after rigorous training. To assess their knowledge and comfort level with spirometry testing after standardized training, questionnaires were administered pre- and post-training. In turn, to assess their overall experience, interviews were conducted at the end of study completion.
All community researchers underwent small-group training sessions including presentations, discussions and hands-on practice adapted from standardized training material prepared for health care professionals. Spirometry training was included in all sessions. Self-perceived knowledge and confidence in administering spirometry, as well as skill-testing score averages improved between the pre- and post-training questionnaires. Overall, all the community researchers had a fulfilling experience participating in the project.
Despite challenges, involving community researchers with lived experience is feasible, satisfying and productive even in the most marginalized populations. Standardized spirometry training of community researchers’ representative of the PROMPT target population, with no healthcare educational background, was feasible and effective in improving knowledge, confidence and readiness to administer spirometry.
View paper on BMC
Smita Pakhale, Tina Kaur, Catherine Charron, Kelly Florence, Tiffany Rose, Sadia Jama, Robert Boyd, Joanne Haddad, Gonzalo Alvarez, Mark Tyndall
Objective: To determine the feasibility of a Community-Based Participatory Tobacco Dependence Strategy (PROMPT) in the inner city population of Ottawa (Canada).
Design: A feasibility mixed methods prospective cohort study following principles of community-based participatory action research.
To determine the feasibility of a Community-Based Participatory Tobacco Dependence Strategy (PROMPT) in the inner city population of Ottawa (Canada).
A feasibility mixed methods prospective cohort study following principles of community-based participatory action research.
Recruited 80 people who use drugs, followed them for 6 months while providing access to counselling, nicotine replacement therapy and peer-support in a… community setting.
Community research office in downtown Ottawa, adjacent to low-income housing, shelter services and street-based drug consumption.
Retention rate at 6-month follow-up.
Biochemically validated 7-day point prevalence smoking abstinence at 26 weeks, self-reported abstinence in the past 7 days with exhaled carbon monoxide ≤10 ppm.
The average age of participants was 43.8 years. The 6-month follow-up rate was 42.5%. The mean number of smoking years reported was 27.3 years. The participants were 70% male, 33.7% reported less than a high-school education, 21% identified as Indigenous and 43.8% reported an income between US$1000 and US$1999 per month. The baseline mean daily cigarette use was 20.5 and 9.3 cigarettes at study end, with mean reduction of 11.2 cigarettes at 6 months (P=0.0001). There was a considerable reduction in self-reported illicit substance use (18.8%), including a reduction in the opioids heroin (6.3%), fentanyl (2.6%) and Oxycontin (3.8%). The study findings also reveal psycho-socioeconomic benefits such as improved health, return to work and greater community engagement.
Conclusions: The PROMPT project describes socioeconomic variables associated with tobacco and poly-substance use. A programme focused on tobacco dependence, easily accessible in the community and led by community peers with lived experience is feasible to implement and has the potential to support positive life changes. PROMPT’s patient engagement model is an effective harm-reduction strategy for the growing opioid use crisis and can improve the health outcomes of marginalised at-risk populations worldwide.
View the PROMPT paper on BMJ Open