Two people in a car, one is checking the smartphone for directions

Doctoral project: Ambulance Referrals to Self-Care

The overarching goal of this project is to investigate ambulance referrals to self-care, encompassing the experiences of patients, significant others, and ambulance personnel, as well as the utilization of advisory decision support tools and the follow-up of patients referred to self-care.

Project information

Ambulance Referrals to Self-Care: Experiences and Patient Follow-up
Doctoral student

Cecilia Fager
Anders Bremer
Assistant supervisor
Mats Holmberg, Anders Svensson och Andreas Rantala
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
Region Kalmar County
1 Jan 2021-31 Dec 2029
Nursing Science (Department of Health and Care Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences)

More about the project

The increasing number of patients being referred to self-care by ambulance services highlights the need for a comprehensive understanding of this practice. The concept of self-care itself remains vaguely defined, and there is a lack of scientific studies examining whether referrals to self-care are conducted in a patient-safe manner and how these referrals are perceived by patients, significant others, and ambulance personnel. Previous research has indicated that referrals can be complex and time-consuming, demanding a higher level of competence from ambulance personnel. Additionally, there is a demand for adequate assessment and decision-support tools to minimize potentially erroneous decisions and ensure patient safety.

This PhD project aims to contribute crucial scientific knowledge that can contribute to the quality assurance of referrals to self-care. The project places a strong emphasis on acknowledging the patient and significant others perspective. Their experiences are sought to gain a deeper understanding of expectations and needs, which currently represents a knowledge gap in ambulance referrals to self-care. Overall, the project will contribute new knowledge regarding the relevance of specific advisory decision-support tools in the ambulance care context, as well as the identification of potential risks associated with referrals to self-care.


The project employs qualitative and quantitative methods approach, encompassing both interview studies and a medical record review study focusing on the follow-up of patients referred to self-care within ambulance services.

Expected Outcomes

  • A comprehensive understanding of the experiences of patients, significant others, and ambulance personnel regarding referrals to self-care in ambulance services.
  • An assessment of the effectiveness of decision-support tools in facilitating safe and appropriate referrals to self-care.
  • Identification of potential risks and challenges associated with referrals to self-care in ambulance services.
  • Recommendations for improving the quality and safety of referrals to self-care in ambulance services.


The findings of this PhD project are expected to make significant contributions to the knowledge base regarding ambulance referrals to self-care. The project's outcomes will have practical implications for improving the safety and quality of care for patients referred to self-care from ambulance services. Additionally, the project's findings can inform the development of guidelines and training programs for ambulance personnel regarding referrals to self-care.

The project is part of the research in the Centre of Interprofessional Collaboration within Emergency care (CICE).