To evaluate a community paramedicine program in rural Ontario, Canada, through the perceptions and experiences of consumers.
An observational ethnographic approach was used to acquire qualitative data through informal discussions, semi-structured interviews and direct observation of interactions between consumers and community paramedics.
The study was conducted in rural Ontario where a community paramedicine program has been established consisting of four components: ad hoc home visiting, ageing at home, paramedic wellness clinics and community paramedic response unit.
Fourteen adult consumers participated, representing all program components.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Consumer satisfaction and perceived benefits.
Three main interlinked themes were identified: (i) improved health monitoring and primary health care access close to home; (ii) improved sense of security and support for vulnerable residents in the community; and (iii) improved consumer education and empowerment for enhanced health management.
Consumers' reflections on their experiences and perceptions of a rural community paramedicine program indicate acceptance of paramedics in non-traditional preventative health care roles. This supports the desirability of investigating the potential development of community paramedicine programs in rural Australia to meet identified health service needs.