Community paramedicine for the management of urgent, low-acuity illnesses and injuries

Added May 14, 2020

Citation: Bigham BL, Kennedy SM, Drennan I, et al. Expanding Paramedic Scope of Practice in the Community: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Prehospital Emergency Care 2013; 17: 361-372

Free to view: No

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare services and resources. Existing research into the effects of expanding paramedic roles in the management of urgent, low-acuity illnesses and injuries (called “community paramedicine”) may provide useful information for policy makers.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies evaluating an expanded scope of practice for paramedics. They restricted their searches to articles published in English from 2000 to September 2011. They included 11 articles, including 1 randomized trial and a separate report using data from that trial, and 9 other studies. The reports were from Australia (1 study), Canada (1) and the UK (9).

What was found: The one randomized trial found that paramedics can safely practice community paramedicine, and improve system performance and patient outcomes.

The agreed expanded roles for paramedics, impacts of expanded paramedic roles compared to usual practice, and the long-term impacts of community paramedicine are uncertain.


Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.