Journal article Open Access
Introduction: Patient advocacy is an often encountered term, but one for which no consistent definition exists. Advocacy is a new and developing role of the paramedic that is closely linked to the developing professionalism of paramedicine, along with the expanding role of the paramedic as a healthcare professional in the community. This role however requires exploration and clarification. Methods: A literature search was performed of multiple databases, including MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and prominent paramedic journals. Results: No published literature investigating the theory or practice of paramedic patient advocacy, the potential conflicts and benefits of this role, or the perceived and actual barriers to advocacy paramedics face was discovered. Conclusion: The following literature review and discussion investigate the concept of paramedic patient advocacy, the contexts in which advocacy may take place, potential barriers, benefits and conflicts. Proposals are also included for areas requiring further research.