Paramedics assessing patients with complex comorbidities in community settings: results from the CARPE study Academic Article uri icon

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  • Abstract Objectives The aim for this study was to provide information about how community paramedicine home visit programs best “navigate” their role delivering preventative care to frequent 9-1-1 users by describing demographic and clinical characteristics of their patients and comparing them to existing community care populations. Methods Our study used secondary data from standardized assessment instruments used in the delivery of home care, community support services, and community paramedicine home visit programs in Ontario. Identical assessment items from each instrument enabled comparisons of demographic, clinical, and social characteristics of community-dwelling older adults using descriptive statistics and z-tests. Results Data were analyzed for 29,938 home care clients, 13,782 community support services clients, and 136 community paramedicine patients. Differences were observed in proportions of individuals living alone between community paramedicine patients versus home care clients and community support clients (47.8%, 33.8%, and 59.9% respectively). We found higher proportions of community paramedicine patients with multiple chronic disease (87%, compared to 63% and 42%) and mental health-related conditions (43.4%, compared to 26.2% and 18.8% for depression, as an example). Conclusion When using existing community care populations as a reference group, it appears that patients seen in community paramedicine home visit programs are a distinct sub-group of the community-dwelling older adult population with more complex comorbidities, possibly exacerbated by mental illness and social isolation from living alone. Community paramedicine programs may serve as a sentinel support opportunity for patients whose health conditions are not being addressed through timely access to other existing care providers. Protocol registration ISRCTN 58273216.


  • Leyenaar, Matthew S
  • McLeod, Brent
  • Jones, Aaron
  • Brousseau, Audrey-Anne
  • Mercier, Eric
  • Strum, Ryan P
  • Nolan, Michael
  • Sinha, Samir K
  • Agarwal, Ragini Gina
  • Tavares, Walter
  • Costa, Andrew

publication date

  • November 2021