Barriers and facilitators to implementing community outreach work, and inter-professional collaboration with regional partners
Roy, Mathieu; Lavoie-Trudeau, Étienne; Roy, Marie-Andrée; Clapperton, Irma; Couturier, Yves; Lane, Julie; Bibeau, Linda; Ouellette, Myrthô; Benkhalti, Maria; Camden, Chantal
SubjectCommunity outreach workers
Abstract : Objective. Community outreach workers support individuals in accessing the health and community services they require through various forms of proximity approaches. Even though community outreach has been available in the province of Quebec (Canada) for the past 40 years, it is still difficult to implement and sustain, especially with families of young children. The aim of this study was to document barriers and facilitators to implementing community outreach practices, and to describe how such workers collaborate with sectoral (e.g. health care) and inter-sectoral (e.g. municipalities, community organizations, schools) partners. Methodology. We performed a content analysis on 55 scientific and grey literature documents, and transcriptions of 24 individual interviews and 3 focus groups with stakeholders including parents, community outreach workers, health care employees, and inter-sectoral partners. Results. This study reveals four categories of barriers and facilitators to the implementation of community outreach work (i.e. organizational factors, nature of the work and worker-related factors, family-related factors, external factors). With regards to collaboration, community outreach workers deal with various partners. Good inter-professional collaboration is achieved through positive interactions and communication, shared or co-developed activities for the families, co-intervention with families, and strategies to enhance role awareness and inter-sectoral meetings. Conclusion. Results highlighted that many factors interact and can either influence, positively or negatively, the opportunity to implement community outreach work. The collaborative practices identified may help to maximize facilitators and overcome barriers. Advocacy and a better understanding of how to integrate community outreach work within health services while maintaining the workers’ flexibility are needed to sustain this practice.