The advantages and challenges experienced with the implementation and delivery of community paramedicine programmes: A qualitative reflexive thematic analysis
Shannon B., Batt AM., Eaton G., Leyenaar M., O’Meara P., Barry T., Lanos C., Wingrove G., Williams B., Nolan M., Carney R., Heffern JD., Bowles KA.
Objective: This study aims to investigate the experiences of individuals involved in implementing and delivering community paramedicine programmes across several different regions internationally, in order to identify key themes that can inform ongoing development and introduction of community paramedicine programmes. Methods: In this study, participants were enlisted through convenience sampling and a snowballing method. They responded to a custom survey emphasising open-ended responses. We employed a qualitative reflexive thematic analysis, utilising an inductive coding technique at the semantic/explicit level. This approach allowed us to discern themes from the participants’ accounts of the programme's implementation and delivery, along with their perceptions of its strengths and challenges. Results: Data was collected from 29 participants engaged in the development or delivery of community paramedicine programmes spanning seven countries. Five themes were created: (1) community drives the need, which emphasises the importance of community engagement and flexible response to health needs; (2) working with others, which underscores the necessity of collaboration with stakeholders for integration and relationship maintenance; (3) promotion and communication, focusing on clarifying roles and countering misconceptions; (4) recruitment and support of community paramedics, highlighting the significance of experienced paramedic recruitment and providing support for staff retention; and (5) research and evaluation, stressing the importance of data sharing for patient care and programme evaluation. These themes demonstrate the significance of community-centred approaches, interprofessional practice, and programme evaluation in community paramedicine. Conclusion: This study highlights the significance of community-centred approaches, interprofessional practice, and programme evaluation in community paramedicine. These findings can inform policymakers and practitioners in the development and implementation of community paramedicine programmes, ultimately improving the health and well-being of communities across different regions internationally.