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Cohort study of team-based care among marginalized people who use drugs in Ottawa


Objective — To describe team-based care use among a cohort of people who use drugs (PWUD) and to determine factors associated with receipt of team-based care.

Design — A cohort study using survey data collected between March and December 2013. These data were then linked to provincial-level health administrative databases to assess patterns of primary care among PWUD in the 2 years before survey completion.

Setting — Ottawa, Ont.

Participants — Marginalized PWUD 16 years of age or older.

Main Outcome Measures Patients were assigned to primary care models based on survey responses and then were categorized as attached to team-based medical homes, attached to non–team-based medical homes, not attached to a medical home, and no primary care. Descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression were used to determine associations between PWUD and medical home models.

Results — Of 663 total participants, only 162 (24.4%) received team-based care, which was associated with high school level of education (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.18; 95% CI 1.13 to 4.20), receipt of disability benefits (AOR = 2.47; 95% CI 1.22 to 5.02), and HIV infection (AOR = 2.88; 95% CI 1.28 to 6.52), and was inversely associated with recent overdose (AOR = 0.49; 95% CI 0.25 to 0.94). In comparison, 125 (18.8%) received non–team-based medical care, which was associated with university or college education (AOR = 2.31; 95% CI 1.04 to 5.15) and mental health comorbidity (AOR = 4.18; 95% CI 2.33 to 7.50), and was inversely associated with being detained in jail in the previous 12 months (AOR = 0.51; 95% CI 0.28 to 0.90).

Conclusion — Although team-based, integrated models of care will benefit disadvantaged groups the most, few PWUD receive such care. Policy makers should mitigate barriers to physician care and improve integration across health and social services.



Kendall CE, Boucher LM, Donelle J, Martin A, Marshall Z, Boyd R, Oickle P, Diliso N, Pineau D, Renaud B, LeBlanc S, Tyndall M, Bayoumi AM. Can Fam Physician. 2022; 8(2):117-27. Epub 2022 Feb 1.

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