UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Modifying medical trainees' perspectives on vulnerable populations through engagement in community-based team sports : fostering the Health Advocate role Boyda, Heidi Noel; Raber, Sari; Bates, Alan T.; Agha, Arun; Tse, Lurdes; Honer, William G; Barr, Alasdair M


Background: The Vancouver Street Soccer league offers a low barrier program to individuals from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to engage in team sport with the goal of creating a community that fosters healthy choices and habits. Addressing the medical needs of this vulnerable and complex population requires informed and compassionate medical care. The goal of this study was to assess medical trainees’ and healthcare workers’ perceptions of people affected by homelessness as well as the impact of participating in street soccer on those perceptions. Methods: Healthcare workers and medical trainees were invited to attend local street soccer games, and complete a self-report questionnaire after participation. Results: Data suggest a positive change on medical trainees’ perceptions of physical capabilities and skills of persons affected by homelessness. Conclusions: Team sport programs that promote direct engagement with vulnerable populations may have the potential to influence the future work of health care professionals, and their involvement with Canada’s marginalized populations.

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