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woman name Simone Dahrouge is in front a of bookshelf smiling

BRI researcher says patients need better support to access community health resources


A team at the Bruyère Research Institute is researching an approach that can help primary care patients access various health and social resources in the community.

Health and social resources are services offered in the community that can help people maintain or improve their health and well-being. These resources can include things like group exercise programs and mental health services.

Health resources are usually widely available in local communities, but they are not being used by many who need them. This is often because there are barriers that prevent patients from accessing these services. Common barriers include lack of awareness about these resources, transportation issues, and affordability.

Dr. Simone Dahrouge of the Bruyère Research Institute, and principal investigator of the Access to Resources in the Community (ARC) research project, hopes to address this problem.

She and her team are researching whether ARC patient navigators can help patients overcome the barriers that are preventing them from accessing resources that they need.

Patient navigators are people who can help patients access a health or social resource in the community. The navigator works with the patient and with their primary care provider to make sure that the patient is able to access the resource that is right for them. For example, if a patient needs to attend an exercise class but is unable to afford it, the patient navigator can help them apply for subsidized programs.

This intervention is innovative because it is designed to serve a broad patient population. It is also meant to be integrated within the primary care team, promoting consistency of care for the patient.

Dr. Dahrouge and her team have collaborated with health planners, primary care providers, community service providers, and patient partners in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to shape the development, implementation and evaluation of the patient navigator intervention.

The next step for the ARC research team will be to investigate the effectiveness of the patient navigator model through a randomized controlled trial.

Dr Simone Dahrouge was on 580 CFRA - News and Views with Rob Snow

About the Bruyère Research Institute

The Bruyère Research Institute supports investigators who contribute to a better, more responsive health care system that delivers the best care to patients and families. The Institute is a proud partner of Bruyère Continuing Care, the University of Ottawa and others and provides solutions to improve the health and health care of aging and frail Canadians. The Institute’s research focuses primarily on evidence, health system evaluation, brain health, geriatrics and rehabilitation, and primary care.

For more information, please contact:

Andrea Perna
ARC Research Assistant
113-43 Bruyere Street
Ottawa, ON
K1N 5C8

613-562-6262 ext 2920