View From the Canoe: Co-Designing Research Pacific Style

Ann Fam Med. 2020 Mar;18(2):172-175. doi: 10.1370/afm.2497.


In 2016, Rose Lamont and Tana Fishman were the first patient-clinician dyad from outside North America to attend the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) Patient and Clinician Engagement Program workshop. They returned to New Zealand inspired and formed the Pacific People's Health Advisory Group and a Pacific practice-based research network (PBRN). They are guided by the principles of co-design, and the Samoan research framework fa'afaletui, which emphasizes a collective approach and importance of reciprocity and relationships. Their collective inquiry aims to reduce health inequalities experienced by Pacific people in South Auckland. Their community group members and PBRN are generating research questions being answered by university-based graduate students. When they embarked, they knew not the direction in which they headed. With guidance, their community members and clinicians have led the way. By giving everyone a say in where they are going and how they get there, they are modeling what they wish to achieve-an egalitarian approach which decreases disparities for Pacific people.

Keywords: New Zealand; Pacific people; co-design; community-based participatory research; patient and clinician engagement; practice-based research network; primary care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community-Based Participatory Research*
  • Cultural Competency*
  • Culture
  • Humans
  • New Zealand
  • Pacific Islands
  • Research Design*
  • Samoa