This is a descriptive cross-sectional survey of community primary care practitioners—primary care physicians and nurse practitioners—currently practicing in the southwestern part of Ontario. An estimated 3379 [15] primary care physicians [16] and approximately 560 nurse practitioners practice in primary care within the region.

An email invite that included an electronic link to the survey was shared by one of the co-authors (MA)—the study principal investigator—with the Ontario Health Team digital leads within southwestern Ontario. The region leads then sent email invites to approximately 679 of their registered lists of primary care providers on August 16, 2020. The invite was also distributed on August 31, 2020, through the eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) Newsletter with the 435 existing primary care provider subscribers. Advertisements for the study were also publicized on the eCE Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. The eCE Twitter and LinkedIn accounts have 936 and 535 followers, respectively. Through the various recruitment methods used (newsletter, Twitter, LinkedIn and email invites), primary care providers were encouraged to share the email invite or study advertisement that included the link with others in their networks that may have been eligible to participate in the study. All participants were directed to review a consent form that described the different aspects of the research study, including the study’s objectives, eligibility requirements, expectations when taking part in the survey, any foreseeable risks, potential benefits, and how participation is voluntary.

A reminder email was sent to the list of primary care providers described above two weeks after the initial invite. A final reminder email through the eCE Newsletter was sent to subscribers again on September 30, 2020. The survey link remained active for seven weeks (August 17, 2020- October 5–2021) and directed the participants to the Survey Monkey platform, an online survey development cloud-based software.

In general, the study’s invite advised potential participants that only primary care physicians and nurse practitioners practicing within Ontario Health West Region were eligible. When potential participants clicked on the survey link, they were first screened through a filter question regarding their role in their practice settings. Only those who identified primary care as their practice setting within Ontario Health West Region were eligible to participate. If the participants were not practicing at a primary care setting within the region, they were directed to the end of the survey. Data were collected from August 17, 2020, to October 5, 2020.

Due to the nature of outreach to eligible participants (described above) and the overlapping of subscribers and followers to the eCE different accounts (Newsletter, Twitter and LinkedIn), it has been challenging to determine an accurate number of primary care providers who received the invite. Of the potential participants who were approached, a total of 207 primary care practitioners responded and completed the survey.

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