16 Nov [McMaster Research Study] Exploring the context, role, and impact of public health nursing during COVID-19 in Ontario


The overall purpose of this study is to understand the structures, processes, and impact of the public health nurse (PHN) role during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario through a multiple-case study design.

This study will address the following questions:

  1. How do PHNs and nursing administrators describe PHN roles over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in three geographic areas in Ontario (urban, urban-rural, northern)?
  2. What are the contextual factors that influence the implementation of PHN roles?
  3. How do PHNs and nursing administrators describe the impact of PHN roles on clients, PHNs themselves, and the organizations in which they work?

Investigations that profile the extensive roles of PHNs, their impact, and the facilitative elements of role implementation can provide compelling evidence to strengthen workforce capacity amid public health modernization.

We are looking for frontline PHNs who:
• are in temporary or permanent full-time roles
• have worked for >8 months in an Ontario health unit during the pandemic (March 2020-present)
• have worked in COVID-19 specific or non-COVID-19 roles

We are also looking for nursing administrators who have been responsible for:
• overseeing or making decisions related to PHN programs/teams during the pandemic

Participation in this study includes:
• Review and completion of a consent form
• One-time completion of an online anonymous demographic survey, that takes ~5 minutes to complete
• A 30 minute to 1-hour individual telephone interview for frontline PHNs OR
• A 45 minute to 1-hour telephone focus group for nursing administrators (5-7 participants)
• A $30 gift card (from giftcard.ca)

This study has been reviewed by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board under Project # 13572.

Please feel free to share this study information with colleagues you think may be eligible to participate.

For more information or if you are interested in participating, please contact:

Emily Belita, RN, PhD

Assistant Professor

School of Nursing, McMaster University