Our Project

What are we doing?

We are conducting a five-year research study on lung health in partnership with two First Nations communities in Saskatchewan.

We are trying to find out more about the relationship between lung health and:

  • Personal factors (such as exposure to cigarette smoke, obesity, childhood health
  • Social factors (such as socio-economic, socio-cultural, colonization)
  • Physical environments (such as housing conditions)

The measures of lung health we are interested in include:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Asthma
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

How are we doing it?

The project has three stages:

  1. First, we will “Assess” the current state of lung health, and collect information about personal factors, social factors, and physical environments. We will do this by having community participants fill out questionnaires, complete physical assessments such as height, weight, and breathing tests, and take samples of the home environments through vacuuming and air sampling.
  2. Then, we will work with the communities to “Address” and “Redress” some of the issues that we identified in the first stage. This will involve addressing issues at the community level with program interventions, and redressing issues with policy interventions.
  3. Finally, we will “Re-assess” the lung health and related factors to explore the changes that have happened throughout the project.

Why are we doing it?

We believe that by gaining a better understanding of lung health among First Nations people living on reserves in rural Canada and the factors that affect it, and by exploring ways that the issues can be addressed, lung health can be improved. We also believe that what we learn from the project will be useful to other First Nations communities, governments, and the public to address the lung health issues in their communities.

When are we doing it?

The project began in 2011 with the first round of questionnaires and physical assessments being completed in the communities in spring/summer 2012 and 2013 (the “Assess” phase). Home environmental assessments began in the communities in winter/spring 2014. Efforts to address some of the issues raised in the initial questionnaire also began in early 2014 with the Greenlight program and work on Sleep Apnea treatment policy issues, with more “Address and Redress” strategies being developed in the coming months (the “Redress” phase). The follow-up questionnaire will be completed in the communities in 2015-2016 (the “Reassess” phase).

Who is involved?

This project involves the participation and cooperation of many different organizations.

At a community level, the Band and Council of both First Nations communities, their respective Community Health Directors and Housing Managers, and many community members and Elders have been active in the project.

At an organizational level, the project has been a collaboration between:

The project receives financial support of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR Operating Grant MOP-115096) and received support from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation for the 2013 Symposium.