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Feasibility and acceptability of paramedic-initiated health education for rural-dwelling older people

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-08, 23:07 authored by TE McManamny, L Boyd, Jade SheenJade Sheen, JA Lowthian
Background: In rural and regional areas, older Australians have poorer health outcomes and higher rates of potentially preventable hospital admissions than their metropolitan counterparts. Paramedics may be uniquely placed to improve health outcomes of rural-dwelling older adults through involvement in primary and preventive healthcare, health promotion and health education. However, the feasibility and acceptability of this remains unexplored. Aim: To investigate the utility, feasibility and acceptability of paramedic involvement in health education initiatives aimed at rural-dwelling older people. Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with key stakeholders between July and September 2021. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and reflexive thematic analysis was undertaken. Findings: Participants (older people and their carers, n = 3; health service representatives, n = 4; and ambulance service representatives, n = 3) linked acceptability to the position of trust and visibility paramedics held within the community. The coverage provided by ambulance services in rural and regional areas, and the enhanced skills and collaborative relationships that rural paramedics develop, were seen as enabling factors to expanded roles. Conclusion: Key stakeholders’ perspectives on the role of paramedics in health education for rural-dwelling older people highlighted the trust placed in paramedics. Meeting identified needs without competing with established health initiatives was seen as important with respect to paramedic engagement in broader primary health care opportunities.

History

Journal

Health Education Journal

Volume

81

Pagination

848-861

ISSN

0017-8969

eISSN

1748-8176

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

7

Publisher

SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD