Introduction: Health care in The Arctic faces considerable challenges in the delivery of services. Despite per capita expenditures that are among the highest in the world, health outcomes continue to lag behind the rest of global populations, and health inequities continue to persist. While improving the health of arctic people requires addressing underlying social determinants, transforming the health care system holds promise in the short and medium term. A key component of system transformation includes process for patient engagement.
Methods: A community of practice model was used to guide the formation of community based patient groups in the Northwest Territories, Canada and Greenland. Our teams collaborated on the development of survey questions and shared lessons learned on engagement practices for patients in the Arctic regions.
Results: Community of practice groups were developed in the areas of indigenous values, life transitions, mental wellness, and chronic conditions. A patient group in Greenland was also established. The two groups worked together to share information and perspectives on the healthcare system and a literature review was conducted to support aspects of healthcare services from a patient perspective.
Conclusion: The panel presentation highlighted the approach for community engagement, emerging themes from the literature, and key activities within community of practice groups. Panelist shared their reflections on the process and offered insight into how this engagement has shaped their perceptions of health, healthcare and provision of services.
- Kimberly Fairman, Executive Director, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research
- Christina Vyskum Lytken Larsen, Research Director, Centre for Public Health in Greenland, University of Greenland and University of Southern Denmark
- Ingelise Olesen, Indigenous Research Coordinator, Centre for Public Health in Greenland, University of Greenland and University of Southern Denmark
- Christine Ingemann, Research Assistant, Centre for Public Health in Greenland, University of Greenland and University of Southern Denmark