A qualitative exploration of the views of paramedics regarding the identification of cardiovascular risk factors in the pre-hospital environment
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Journal titleBritish Paramedic Journal
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AbstractBackground: Cardiovascular disease remains the most prominent cause of death in England. Healthcare professionals have been encouraged to identify cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs). The aim of this study was to explore how paramedics contribute to the identification of CVRFs in the pre-hospital setting, through their role, behaviours and practice. Methods: The study took place within the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust supported by a National Institute for Health Research clinical research internship. A qualitative approach was used, and a single focus group was conducted. The study recruited participants through advertising for volunteers and purposive sampling. The themes that arose from the focus group allowed the initial exploration of the views of paramedics in relation to role, behaviour and practice in identifying CVRFs. Results: A single focus group with five paramedics was conducted in June 2021. Two central themes emerged: education/health promotion and fear/anxiety. Participants agreed that their role in this area centred around patient education. Participants’ behaviours and practice were adversely affected through fear of complaints, fear of hypocrisy and feeling a lack of support from the ambulance service. Participants felt that further training and subsequent indemnity from complaints would improve the likelihood of more direct patient education. Support from the ambulance service to improve employees’ own health and well-being was also a key topic of discussion. Conclusion: The study explored the views of a small sample of paramedics on this topic. Patient education was felt to be part of a paramedic’s role; however, barriers were identified that prevent paramedics from carrying out this role. Further research is needed to explore these barriers further. https://eds.p.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&sid=a11c8d03-9e54-4c50-a80a-c539f1e3f04d%40redis This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.29045/14784726.2022.06.7.1.19