Rapid Assessment: Impact of COVID-19 on PWUD in Canada

CRISM is conducting two studies on COVID-19’s impact on people who use drugs (PWUD) to identify areas of most urgent need, make recommendations for improvements to services, and inform strategies for future pandemics. The studies will deliver a rapid assessment report for decision makers and service providers, and will be followed by development of peer-reviewed publications and evaluation activities.

In-Depth Qualitative Interviews

Semi-structured interviews with PWUD across the country will document a myriad of serious impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their health and well-being. This national qualitative research study will identify issues PWUD are experiencing during the COVID crisis and make recommendations to change services to respond to the most urgent needs.

From March to June, 2020, we conducted over 180 interviews with people who live in BC, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces. The data is currently being analyzed.

Quantitative Evaluation Using Ongoing Prospective Cohort Studies (300-500 interviews)

A nationally developed COVID-19 survey will be administered to PWUD already enrolled in four ongoing Canadian cohort studies; 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.