Climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut, Canada

IHACC Research Team, RICG, Sherilee L. Harper*, Victoria L. Edge, James Ford, Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Michele Wood, Scott A. McEwen, Lea Berrang-Ford, Cesar Carcamo, Alejandro Llanos, Shuaib Lwasa, Didacus Bambaiha Namanya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This exploratory study used participatory methods to identify, characterize, and rank climate-sensitive health priorities in Nunatsiavut, Labrador, Canada. Methods: A mixed method study design was used and involved collecting both qualitative and quantitative data at regional, community, and individual levels. In-depth interviews with regional health representatives were conducted throughout Nunatsiavut (n=11). In addition, three PhotoVoice workshops were held with Rigolet community members (n=11), where participants took photos of areas, items, or concepts that expressed how climate change is impacting their health. The workshop groups shared their photographs, discussed the stories and messages behind them, and then grouped photos into re-occurring themes. Two community surveys were administered in Rigolet to capture data on observed climatic and environmental changes in the area, and perceived impacts on health, wellbeing, and lifestyles (n=187). Results: Climate-sensitive health pathways were described in terms of inter-relationships between environmental and social determinants of Inuit health. The climate-sensitive health priorities for the region included food security, water security, mental health and wellbeing, new hazards and safety concerns, and health services and delivery. Conclusions: The results highlight several climate-sensitive health priorities that are specific to the Nunatsiavut region, and suggest approaching health research and adaptation planning from an EcoHealth perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number605
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Harper et al.


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