Australia has had a long-standing challenge in meeting rural and remote healthcare needs. Recently, new expanded paramedic roles have proven successful in addressing healthcare gaps, however, further research is needed to establish cost-effectiveness, sustainability and training. Equally, many established rural paramedics highlight primary healthcare as fundamental to their role. This study explores combining paramedics’ existing assessment scope and unique access to patients in their living environments with the introduction of a tool to measure sense of coherence, general resistance resources and social determinants of health to build patient resiliency to improve outcomes of current and future health events. Through utilising a salutogenic approach which addresses patient wellness and capacity for utilising health resources and knowledge, paramedics can provide a more holistic and patient-centred approach to care and care planning augmenting their existing clinical scope.
As this study aimed to establish the feasibility of paramedics undertaking a salutogenic approach to healthcare delivery, seven questions were developed focussing on areas identified as necessary components of feasibility within the paramedic paradigm. A systematic overview of literature was conducted to identify the connection between the salutogenic theory and the provision of pre-hospital care.
Fifty-four articles outlined the factors associated with rural living and the aspects that impact on the potential for paramedics in rural communities to undertake a salutogenic approach to healthcare delivery. Additionally, two pieces of grey literature were identified as pertinent to the research.
It is reasonable to assume that it is a feasible option for rural paramedics to utilise their current skills and unique access to patients in rural and remote settings in a salutogenic approach to healthcare delivery by undertaking assessments of patients’ sense of coherence, general resistance resources and social determinants of health.
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