Exploring income security offered through primary care: a mixed-methods process evaluation

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Lesperance, Sarah Catherine Laura
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The objective of this study was to understand the components of a novel income security program offered through an inner-city primary health care team in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Through process evaluation, key patient characteristics and program components were considered, in accordance with the goals of a program-stakeholder evaluation committee. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected via chart review, document summary, and interviews with both the program provider and multiple program participants. Mixed methods were incorporated into both data collection and data analysis to reflect key program processes and activities. The process evaluation revealed that the Income Security Health Promoter (ISHP) program, with one full-time service provider, provided comprehensive income security support services to 415 clients within its first 20 months of operation. Clients engaged in the program were medically complex, and received key services in the domains of income security supports (73.3%), associated service assistance (61.7%) (a category that includes housing, medication, food, and transportation), budgeting supports (50.0%), and referrals to other services (45.0%). Making contact and establishing relationships with clients was a prevalent feature of program activity (95%). The process evaluation was able to ascertain that the ISHP program operated consistently with the stated goals, and did so in a way that provided meaningful enrichment in the lives of program clients. These findings have implications for the development of further income security programs in other primary health care teams across the country.
Process Evaluation, Income security, Primary care