Aging, Community and Health Research Group (ACHRU)

McMaster University

Funded by

Study 10

Health Links Caregiver Evaluation Study


The AHCRU collaborated with other research teams on an evaluation of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Health Links Model. Health Links was launched as a strategy to provide better integrated community-based healthcare for patients with complex health and social needs through the provision of a coordinated plan of care to address patient’s goals supported by many providers. 

Researchers from the ACHRU worked on the evaluation of the experiences of caregivers’ of Health Links patients, while researchers from Queen’s University, Western University and University of Toronto investigated the patient and provider experiences.

Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through Health System Research Fund, this project was undertaken by a research consortium at four research centres to evaluate Health Links impact on patient experience and system value. This study explored its ability to connect, integrate, and coordinate Health Link resources and outcomes on the care, health, cost, and health provider.

The project’s overall objectives were as follows:

  1. Measure the value of the Health Links model in terms of health care costs and utilization patterns
  2. Determine the impact of the Health Links model on patient, provider, and caregiver’s experience


Publication in Plos One

Research Brief

  • Ruta Valaitis
    McMaster University
    School of Nursing
  • Jenny Ploeg
  • Maureen Markle-Reid
  • Michelle Butt
  • Nancy Murray
  • Rebecca Ganann
  • Sue Bookey-Bassett

Publications and Activities relating to this study:

Dr. Maureen Markle-Reid is Building a Brighter World

Dr. Markle-Reid is profiled on McMaster University’s website for research that improves the quality of life for both patients and their caregivers.

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Research Brief: Health Links Caregiver Evaluation Study

ACHRU researchers explored the experiences of caregivers of Health Links (HL) patients. HL was launched by the Ontario Government to integrate care for patients with complex health and social care needs who were high users of hospital and emergency services.

Read More