Indigenous mothers’ experiences of using primary care in Hamilton, Ontario, for their infants
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PURPOSE: Access to primary care can help mitigate the negative impacts of social inequity that disproportionately affect Indigenous people in Canada. Despite this, however, Indigenous people cite difficulties accessing care. This study seeks to understand how Indigenous mothers-typically responsible for the health of their infants-living in urban areas, experience selecting and using health services to meet the health needs of their infants. Results provide strategies to improve access to care, which may lead to improved health outcomes for Indigenous infants and their families. METHODS: This qualitative interpretive description study is guided by the Two-Eyed Seeing framework. Interviews were conducted with 19 Indigenous mothers and 5 primary care providers. RESULTS: The experiences of Indigenous mothers using primary care for their infants resulted in eight themes. Themes were organized according to three domains of primary care: structural, organizational and personnel. CONCLUSIONS: Primary care providers can develop contextual-awareness to better recognize and respond to the health and well-being of Indigenous families. Applying culturally safe, trauma and violence-informed and family-centred approaches to care can promote equitable access and positive health care interactions which may lead to improved health outcomes for Indigenous infants and their families.