Engagement with Physicians to Enhance Cultural Safety in Primary Care for People who Use Substances

Research co-leads:

Research user co-leads:

  • Alisa Harrison
    (Victoria Division of Family Practice)

Team members:

  • William Cunningham
    (Island Health)
  • Bryn Meadows
  • Cindy Trytten 
    (Island Health)

The proposed activity is to develop, host and facilitate a two-day workshop with key system partners, and physicians, to identify practice and policy priorities, and strategize next steps. Physician engagement represents the next step in the broader research agenda — to support implementation and practice change. The expected outputs of the workshop include:

  1. The development of a plan to implement the research evidence through transforming how primary care is delivered to people who use substances.
  2. A strategy for collaborating with primary care physicians, with a long-term goal of improving access to and quality of primary care for people who use substances.

This workshop will be co-facilitated with peer research associates who are trained in recovery and have lived experience with substance use. It will focus on looking at how the evidence from the concept mapping (currently underway) with people who use substances can enhance primary care services for people who use substances. This will be integrated with substantial data from the Victoria Division of Family Practice on what physicians need to support this population. One output is developing guidelines for physicians who work with substance users across the full spectrum, from youngsters experimenting with substance use, to recreational drinkers and drug users, to those using illicit substances and experiencing serious health and social impacts.

The content produced as part of the workshop will leverage evidence from an ongoing patient-oriented research project that this team is conducting, funded by a Strategy for Patient Oriented Research Collaboration grant, led by team members at the Centre for Addictions Research of BC at the University of Victoria, the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, and patient partners from two non-profit peer support organizations, the Society of Living Illicit Drug Users and the Umbrella Society (which support people who use substances). In both projects, the team will collaborate with people who use substances to better understand how to reduce stigma and increase accessible, appropriate primary care services for them.