Improving Indigenous access to healthcare services through interprofessional collaboration
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In northwestern Ontario, interprofessional collaboration is needed to improve access to healthcare services for Indigenous people. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada identified 94 Calls to Action, four of which guided the design of this community action research project (No.18: acknowledge previous health policy is responsible for Indigenous health, No.19: identify appropriate health services, No.22: recognize the value of traditional health practices; No.23: provide competency training for health professionals). The purpose of this study was to examine whether the teaching of six interprofessional competencies to healthcare teams servicing northern First Nation communities enhances: 1) interprofessional collaboration and 2) Indigenous healthcare access. A two-eyed seeing approach supported an interprofessional collaboration (IPC) training intervention involving 30 participants. A convergent parallel mixed methods design, including a post-post test design survey and second-order narratives, supported the generation of community action-oriented goals. A statistically significant difference in each of the six interprofessional competency domains was found following the training. Qualitative analysis demonstrated that access to healthcare services does improve following collaboration training. The mixed analysis demonstrated that sustainable community resources focused on healthcare access were developed as a result of the action-oriented goals. Northern First Nation communities can benefit directly and indirectly from interprofessional competency training for the purpose of improving access to healthcare services. By incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing within a community action research framework, Calls to Action can be enacted.