A critical approach to child health research in Canada: exploring the perspectives of Chinese migrant parents

International migration is a multi-faceted phenomenon with several intersecting forces. Despite the attraction migration research has received in the past decade, racialized migrants continue to face injustices. Currently, an underexamined division in migration scholarship is the climate of child health research. Particularly, how the research process is simultaneously shaped by and shapes existing systems of power. In Canada, a Western-centric focus remains the dominant framework for conducting child health research. As a result, the products from this research become unsuitable for racialized migrant end-users. This is problematic as it limits the capacity for Chinese migrant parents to promptly identify and manage symptoms of their child’s acute health condition. Thus, attending to power relations in the process of child health research is a pressing healthcare and human rights concern.

The objectives of this project are to: (i) attend to power relations in acute child health research from the perspective of Chinese migrant parents, and (ii) reduce acute health inequities among Chinese migrant children.

This project will be a multi-phase study. Phase 1 will be a scoping review to identity gaps in acute child health research for Chinese migrant parents. The findings from phase 1 will inform the focus and scope of phases 2 and 3. At ASSIST Community Services Centre in Edmonton, AB, homogeneous purposive sampling will be conducted on the basis of race and migrant status for the recruitment of participants (n=12 to 16) for phases 2 and 3. Participant inclusion criteria includes: refugee or immigrant status of Chinese origin, parent or caregiver, arrived to Canada <10 years, English and/or Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese) speaking. Employing a qualitative descriptive design in phases 2 and 3, data collection will be conducted using focus groups [FG] (n=6 to 8 per FGD). In phase 2, unstructured FG's will explore Chinese migrants' perspectives on power relations with acute child health research products. Phase 2 findings will inform the scope of phase 3. Semi-structured FG's in phase 3 will explore solutions to improve the process of acute child health research. Content analysis using open coding techniques will be used to analyze data from phases 2 and 3. Expected outcomes and Conclusion: The expected outcomes are to: (i) understand Chinese migrant parents' perspectives on power relations in acute child health research products, and (ii) explore solutions to navigate power relations in acute child health research processes in Canada. Through the expected outcomes of this project, the United Nations mission pursuant to improving the health of all children will take significant strides in becoming a reality.