Takuro (Tak) Ishikawa, a UBC PhD student at CFRI, recently completed a systematic review of evidence presented in studies on child passenger safety in B.C. Aboriginal communities. Tak and his team evaluated study methodologies in terms of scientific approach, but also for cultural relevance to the communities in question. The big question: Has research on child passenger safety in Aboriginal communities incorporated community perspectives on health, knowledge, truth, relationships and program success?

Through his review, Tak found that programs that were successful in improving child passenger safety were more likely to be tailored to individual communities and mindful of local circumstances and culture. Those that incorporated Aboriginal views on health, involved the community, and included accessibility and educational components were more successful.

"The most interesting thing we found was that an integrated approach to Aboriginal wellness was better," said Tak. "Aboriginal and Western views are not incompatible, but complementary."

Tak's hope for his study is that it changes the way researchers and policy makers work with Aboriginal communities to conduct research and implement health projects and policy. He also hopes to see a change in the way journals evaluate Aboriginal health research.

For now, Tak is working on his PhD project under the supervision of Dr. Mariana Brussoni. His research focuses on understanding how playground design influences the way that children play, their physical activity levels, and their growth and development.

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