Primary Care Capacity Estimator (CapEs)


In Canada, primary care is in a crisis of both growing demand and dropping supply, with an estimated 22% of Canadian adults without a regular healthcare provider in 2023. Working in teams (team-based care) is key to support primary care to better respond to changing demands. However, evidence is limited for guiding policymakers and planners in planning team-based care.

This study aims to explore the primary care work that can be shared among different healthcare providers and build a Capacity Estimator (CapEs) web application to help predict how primary care capacity can be changed with team-based care.

This study is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Research Goals

  1. Co-develop and validate the evidence of how allied health providers add capacity to a primary care team;
  2. Translate that newly synthesized evidence into the CapEs web application; and
  3. Share the CapEs web application through various webinars and training opportunities with primary care planners and decision makers in multiple provinces.


This 12-month, iterative, multi-method study leverages stakeholder engagement and generative methods to co-develop capacity estimations for the following primary care roles: registered nurses (RN), pharmacists, physician assistants (PA), social workers (SW), dietitians, physiotherapists (PT), and occupational therapists (OT).

This study will use a combination of literature scans and online modified Delphi processes to co-develop and validate the evidence for each primary care role. The Delphi process is a research method that uses experts’ opinions about a topic by asking structured questions in an anonymous survey format. The goal is to find a consensus. Each CapEs Delphi process consists of three rounds with a panel of ten experts. The answers from each round are processed by the research team and the questions are re-formatted and sent out again, in iterations, until consensus is reached.

Findings will be used to develop the CapEs web application. This will be shared with primary care planners and decision makers through workshops and knowledge mobilization (KM) activities.

Diagram that shows the process of the CapEs project from initiation, through 7 Delphi processes, that will inform workshops with stakeholders and finally knowledge mobilization before wrapping up. All parts of the project will also inform the CapEs web application.

Participate in the Study!

We are looking for experts to participate in the CapEs online Delphi processes. In each round of the Delphi you will be asked to review evidence and provide input through an online survey. We estimate that each Delphi process (3 rounds) will require approximately 3-4 hours of your time (60-80 minutes per round) over a 9 to 12-week period. You will be paid for taking part.

If you have worked as a social worker, physiotherapist, dietitian, occupational therapists, or physician assistant in a primary care team within the last 3 years, or you have experience as a primary care provider, primary care researcher or decision maker, and you want to be part of co-developing and validating the evidence for team-based care, we would love to hear from you! Please contact Elka Humphrys ( or Ada Okonkwo-Dappa ( for more information.

Study KT