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The Montreal heat response plan: evaluation of its implementation towards healthcare professionals and vulnerable populations



Since 2004, the Montreal heat response plan (MHRP) has been developed and implemented on the Island of Montreal to reduce heat-related health effects in the general population. In this paper, we aimed to assess the barriers and facilitators to implementation of the MHRP and evaluate the awareness of key elements of the plan by healthcare professionals and individuals from vulnerable populations.


Data were gathered from monitoring reports and a questionnaire administered to managers of healthcare institutions and healthcare workers in Montreal-area health and social services institutions. Individual interviews and focus groups with healthcare workers and with individuals with schizophrenia or suffering from drug or alcohol dependencies were performed. Data were categorized according to predefined subthemes. Coding matrices were then used to determine the most frequently occurring elements in the subthemes.


Our results indicate that actions are progressively implemented each year in the healthcare network. Intensification of surveillance for signs of heat-related illness is the most frequently reported measure. Identification and prioritization of clientele and homecare patients are identified as a challenge, as is ensuring the availability of sufficient personnel during a heat wave. Analysis of practice and awareness in healthcare professionals reveals that preventive measures are known and applied by the personnel. Individuals from vulnerable population groups were not uniformly aware of preventive measures, and consequently, variability was observed in their application.


The framework proposed in this study revealed valuable information that can be useful to improve plans aimed at reducing heat-related health effects in the population.

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