Assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on primary care in Canada
The RIPPLE-C study assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian primary care. Employing a mixed-methods approach, the first phase involves using data from the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network—a national database of electronic medical record data from 14 practice-based research networks across Canada. Phase I explores changes in primary care indicators such as access, comprehensiveness, and appropriateness of care before and during the pandemic. Currently, the team is finalizing the first manuscript with results from the quantitative phase, which focuses on changes in access and comprehensiveness of care. Potential reductions in access or comprehensiveness may highlight areas where care was reduced or deprioritized, while unchanged or increased indicators may highlight well-prioritized areas of primary care.
The second phase is a qualitative study, which is currently recruiting participants with diabetes, to better understand patient perspectives on their experiences with primary care, and health care-related decision-making before and during the pandemic. Findings from both phases will guide further investigations to optimize primary care recovery post-pandemic, contributing valuable insights to the evolving healthcare landscape.Research Project Update