Pandemic Planning for Primary Care: Lessons from Four Provinces

Mathews, Maria | $321,361

Ontario Western University 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

Family physicians (FP) play an important role in pandemic response and recovery. However, existing pandemic plans do not adequately incorporate FP. What are the roles of FP during a pandemic? What facilitates and hinders FP from fulfilling these roles? The goal of the project is to inform the development of pandemic plans for FP by examining experiences in four regions in Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia. The project is a multiple case study of regions in four provinces. Each case consists of a two-part mixed-methods design consisting of: 1) chronology of FP roles in the COVID19 pandemic response and 2) qualitative interviews with FP. In each province, we will create the chronology through a document review (supplemented, as needed, by key informant interviews) to describe key milestones in COVID19 pandemic and FP roles and responsibilities at each stage of the pandemic. Using the chronology as common frame of reference, we will conduct semi-structured qualitative interviews with FP who work in each region. In the interview, for each pandemic stage, we will ask FP to describe the facilitators and barriers to performing the proposed, actual and potential roles FP, and the influence of their gender on roles, facilitators and barriers. Results will provide government ministries, public health units, other health organizations, and FP evidence and tools (such as checklists) with which to respond to a second COVID19 wave and plan for future pandemics.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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