Evidence of Value

Patients’ experiences receiving home-based primary care (HBPC) in Ontario: Study

Article published in Health & Social Care in the Community on June 10, 2016


The lack of effective systems to appropriately manage the health and social care of frail older adults – especially among those who become homebound – is becoming all the more apparent. Home-based primary care (HBPC) is increasingly being promoted as a promising model that takes into account the accessibility needs of frail older adults, ensuring that they receive more appropriate primary and community care. There remains a paucity of literature exploring patients’ experiences with HBPC programmes. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of patients accessing HBPC delivered by interprofessional teams, and their perspectives on the facilitators and barriers to this model of care in Ontario, Canada.

Using certain grounded theory principles, we conducted an inductive qualitative content analysis of in-depth patient interviews (n = 26) undertaken in the winter of 2013 across seven programme sites exploring the lived experiences and perspectives of participants receiving HBPC. Themes emerged in relation to patients’ perceptions regarding the preference for and necessity of HBPC, the promotion of better patient care afforded by the model in comparison to office-based care, and the benefits of and barriers to HBPC service provision. Underlying patterns also surfaced related to patients’ feelings and emotions about their quality of life and satisfaction with HBPC services.

We argue that HBPC is well positioned to serve frail homebound older adults, ensuring that patients receive appropriate primary and community care – which the office-based alternative provides little guarantee – and that they will be cared for, pointing to a model that may not only lead to greater patient satisfaction but also likely contributes to bettering the quality of life of a highly vulnerable population.

You can read the full article here.


  • Tracy Smith-Carrier PhD RSW, School of Social Work, King’s University College at Western University
  • Samir K. Sinha MD DPhil FRCPC, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Mark Nowaczynski PhD MD CCFP FCFC, House Calls: Interdisciplinary Healthcare for Homebound Seniors, SPRINT Senior Care
  • Sabrina Akhtar MD CCFP, Home-Based Care Program, Toronto Western FHT
  • Gayle Seddon BScN MHS RN, Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre
  • Thuy-Nga (Tia) Pham MD CCFP, South East Toronto FHT