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Summary of research findings

The Compassionate Communities Connector program involved volunteer Connectors supporting people living with advanced life limiting illnesses/palliative care by enlisting volunteer Caring Helpers from the community to enhance the person’s existing networks.

Research associated with the project found positive impacts on patients and carers:

  • Improved social connectedness (practical and social/emotional)
  • Reduced social isolation
  • Increased community links
  • Improved coping with daily activities
  • Increased support networks

Relative to the control group, the intervention group cared for by the Compassionate Connectors were:

  • 63% less likely to be admitted to hospital
  • spent 77% less days in hospital
  • were 44% less likely to use an Emergency Department
  • and were twice as likely to use Outpatient Services.

Potential for financial savings:

$AUD 518,701 would be achieved from adopting the Connector program, assuming enrolment of 100 patients over an average 6-month participation period.

Research by South West Compassionate Communities Network

The South West Compassionate Communities Network acknowledges the Noongar community as the traditional owners and custodians of Country in the South West of Western Australia and acknowledges their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay our respects to the people, the cultures and the elders past, present and emerging.