Dr. Mathews Lab

Dr. Maria Mathews leads an applied health services and policy research program that connects ‘models of care’ to service and health outcome-related effects. ‘Model of care’ refers to the health workforce, financial, and/or policy arrangements that impact the organization and delivery of health care. Dr. Mathews’ research interests include primary health care, health workforce, and care in rural communities.

Research Team

Research Coordinator:
Leslie Meredith

Research Assistants:
• Dana Ryan
• Samina Idrees

Graduate Research Assistants:
• Gillian Young
• Jennifer Xiao
• Rhiannon Lyons

Pandemic Planning for Primary Care

3PC: The 3PC project seeks to develop pandemic plans for family physicians (FP) by examining experiences in four regions in Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia. The project produced a chronology of pandemic stages and identified FP roles during each stage. Results will inform pandemic preparedness.

3PCN: The 3PCN project examines the experiences of primary care nurses in four regions in Canada: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia. This project examined the roles of nurse practitioners, registered nurses and registered (licensed) practice nurses who worked in primary care settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project draws on best practices and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare and optimize future pandemic planning.

Interdisciplinary Models of Primary Care

DICE: The Primary Care Diabetes Support Program (PCDSP) in London, Ontario is an inter-disciplinary, team-based, primary care practice that cares for people with diabetes whose care is made more complex because of medical issues, lack of a regular primary care provider, and/or poverty and other social care issues. The DICE project examines the impact of the PCDSP on patients and health care providers, reduction of diabetes-related complications, and health system costs. Project findings will be used to support expanding the PCDSP to other sites and chronic conditions.

FPN: The FPN project aims to describe the impact of funding models on the integration of registered nurses (RNs) in primary health care teams. The project consists of three studies: a funding model analysis, case studies, and a survey of family practice nurses. The funding model analysis will identify and classify funding models used to integrate family practice nurses in primary health care settings across Canada. The case studies and survey will be used to inform FP-RN practices, training, and team functions. Project findings will help governments structure funding models that optimize the roles of FP-RNs and team-based care.

PUPPY: The PUPPY project seeks to identify the critical gaps in primary care access and coordination comparing data from before, during, and after the pandemic. The project examines experiences with Ontario’s Health Care Connect program on attachment and access for unattached patients. The project highlights ways of improving the number of Ontarians with a regular doctor.

Co-Management: The project examines coordination of care between family and specialist physicians for patients with diabetes and congestive heart failure.

Health Workforce

ABG: The ABG project examined programs to increase the number of Indigenous physicians in Canada. This project includes a scoping review and sharing circles in Indigenous communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. The project addresses priorities identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission responding to calls to increase Indigenous participation in the physician workforce and social accountability from Canada’s medical schools.

Community-Based Collaborations

PHSS: Working together with PHSS Medical and Complex Care in Community (PHSS) organization, this project examined person-centered plans (PCP). The project includes a scoping review of person-centered planning in community care, qualitative interviews with persons-supported, PHSS staff, and community sector organizations. This project responds to the urgent need for research on cost-effective upstream innovations in the community-care sector that will improve patient experiences and outcomes.