Peer supports for Indigenous clients initiating opioid agonist therapy (OAT): Early concept and proposal for an experimental study

In order to foster collaboration and co-development of research by researchers and research users throughout the research cycle, we plan to address one of BC’s health system priorities — the evaluation of the impact of peer support programs in BC — by engaging people with lived experience, opioid agonist therapy (OAT) providers and policymakers in workshops, focus groups, and key informant interviews to define feasible peer support models. Recruitment for these workshops will be facilitated by engagement with drug user advocacy groups such as the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), the Peer Engagement and Evaluation Project (PEEP), and the BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors (BCYADWS). Workshops will be co-led by researchers and research users, to collaboratively define the ‘active ingredients’ of the proposed intervention, considering elements of cultural safety and the extent of adaption necessary to suit client needs across the province.

Team members: Brittany Barker (First Nations Health Authority; BC Centre on Substance Use); Kirsten Ellingson (First Nations Health Authority); Keshia Cleaver (First Nations Health Authority); Nikhil Gandhi (First Nations Health Authority); Jolene Pagurut (First Nations Health Authority); Cheryl Tress (First Nations Health Authority); Alexa Norton (UBC); Kate Hodgson (First Nations Health Authority); Sue MacDonald (Vancouver Coastal Health); Jane Buxton (BC Centres for Disease Control; University of British Columbia); Laura Dale (Centre for Health Outcomes and Evaluation Sciences); Mo Korchinsky (First Nations Health Authority); Micah Piske (Centre for Health Outcomes and Evaluation Sciences); Reija Roberts (BC Association of People on Methadone); Amy Salmon (Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences); Amanda Slaunwhite (BC Centres for Disease Control; School of Population and Public Health; UBC).