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Who gets access to an interprofessional team-based primary care programme for patients with complex health and social needs? a cross-sectional analysis


Objectives — To determine whether a voluntary referral-based interprofessional team-based primary care programme reached its target population and to assess the representativeness of referring primary care physicians.

Design — Cross-sectional analysis of administrative health data.

Setting — Ontario, Canada.

Intervention — TeamCare provides access to Community Health Centre services for patients of non-team physicians with complex health and social needs.

Participants — All adult patients who participated in TeamCare between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2017 (n=1148), and as comparators, all non-referred adult patients of the primary care providers who shared patients in TeamCare (n=546 989), and a 1% random sample of the adult Ontario population (n=117 753).

Results — TeamCare patients were more likely to live in lower income neighbourhoods with a higher degree of marginalisation relative to comparison groups. TeamCare patients had a higher mean number of diagnoses, higher prevalence of all chronic conditions and had more frequent encounters with the healthcare system in the year prior to participation.

Conclusions — TeamCare reached a target population and fills an important gap in the Ontario primary care landscape, serving a population of patients with complex needs that did not previously have access to interprofessional team-based care.

Strengths and Limitations — This study used population-level administrative health data. Data constraints limited the ability to identify patients referred to the programme but did not receive services, and data could not capture all relevant patient characteristics.



Jopling S, Wodchis WP, Rayner J, Rudoler D. BMJ Open. 2022; 12(12):e065362. Epub 2022 Dec 14.

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