Cedar Project mHealth Study: Exploring the feasibility and acceptability of an mHealth intervention for HIV treatment and prevention among young Indigenous people who use illicit drugs
Since 2003, The Cedar Project has investigated HIV and HCV vulnerabilities among young Indigenous people who use drugs in British Columbia, Canada. The Cedar Project mHealth study was initiated to explore whether the WelTel mHealth intervention, shown to improve HIV health outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa, can improve access to HIV prevention and treatment among young Indigenous people who use illicit drugs. Preliminary cross-sectional surveys were conducted to understand mobile phone use and interest in an mHealth program among Cedar Project participants.
Of 82 participants who responded to the survey, 43 (52%) did not currently own a phone. Of these, 8 people shared a mobile phone with someone else, including a family member or regular partner. A majority of people surveyed (95%) felt that using a mobile phone for health would be helpful to them. Commonly cited reasons for wanting the mHealth intervention include increased safety, accesses to services, and connection with family. Three participants had concerns about using a mobile phone for their health, including challenges with technology and privacy concerns.
Lack of access to mobile phones among young Indigenous people who use drugs in is a key obstacle to connecting to support networks and HIV prevention and treatment services. However, young people are eager to have access to this technology as a means to improve their health.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Discuss mobile phone use patterns and acceptability of supportive two-way text message mHealth program for HIV prevention and treatment among young Indigenous people who use illicit drugs.
Keyword(s): HIV Interventions, Communication Technology
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Kate Jongbloed is a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbiaâs School of Population and Public Health. She is investigating the effect of mHealth for HIV treatment and prevention among young Indigenous people who use illicit drugs. Her research takes place within the Cedar Project, a cohort study of HIV/HCV vulnerability of young Indigenous people who use drugs in British Columbia, Canada. Kate is supported by a CIHR Doctoral Award and UBC 4-Year Fellowship.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.