In addition to OCRINT's involvement in the Rapid National COVID-19 Guidance Documents, OCRINT has also been involved in both quantitative and qualitative research projects examining the effects of COVID-19 on people who use drugs (PWUD) across Canada. The details of two of these main projects are listed below.
QUANTITATIVE EVALUATION USING ONGOING PROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDIES (300-500 INTERVIEWS)
A nationally developed COVID-19 survey is being administered to PWUD already enrolled in four ongoing Canadian cohort studies, on an ongoing basis; HepCo, OiSIS-Toronto, VIDUS, ACCESS and ARYS. These quantitative studies will help to identify and assess the impacts of local harm reduction or health service interventions that are available to PWUD, as the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic evolves over time.
IN-DEPTH QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS (n=200 PWUD): IDENTIFYING THE NEEDS AND CHALLENGES OF PWUD DURING THE PANDEMIC
Semi-structured interviews with PWUD across the country have documented a myriad of serious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their health and well-being. This national qualitative research study identified issues PWUD are experiencing during the COVID crisis and have made recommendations to change services to respond to the most urgent needs.
From May to July, 2020, we conducted 200 interviews with people who live in BC, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces. The final report can be found here.
An article documenting the impacts of COVID-19 on substance use and supply, titled Changes in substance supply and use characteristics among people who use drugs (PWUD) during the COVID-19 global pandemic: A national qualitative assessment in Canada can be found here.
EENet Research Snapshot on our article can be found here.
An article documenting how COVID-19 has affected service access, including any significant impacts PWUD may have experienced, titled Identifying the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on service access for people who use drugs (PWUD): A national qualitative study can be found here.