Exploring the perspectives of caregivers of urban Inuit children on child health knowledge mobilisation


Our study sought to explore the experiences of caregivers of urban Inuit children with respect to child health knowledge acquisition to develop community-specific best practices for health promotion initiatives. A needs assessment was conducted to understand how caregivers access child health knowledge and services; what child health issues require improved knowledge mobilisation; and how caregivers would like to access this knowledge. Four focus groups were held with twenty-four parents and caregivers of Inuit children. Child health knowledge acquisition was influenced by dynamics of trust and discrimination, making caregivers' social networks and Indigenous health services highly valued sources. Health topics identified as requiring improved knowledge mobilisation were those in which caregivers faced tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous ways of knowing. Such topics included parenting and development, adolescent mental and sexual health, common childhood illnesses, infant care, and nutrition. Caregivers preferred a multi-modal approach to health promotion, highlighting importance of in-person gatherings while also valuing accessible multi-media components. The presence of Elders as facilitators was especially important for child development, parenting, and nutrition. For health promotion to be effective, it must consider community-specific health knowledge sharing processes; tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous ways of knowing; and community ownership in health promotion endeavors.

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