Employees in health care service are at high risk for developing mental health complaints. The effects of mental health complaints on work can have serious consequences for the quality of care provided by these workers. To help health service workers remain healthy and productive, preventive actions are necessary. A Workers' Health Surveillance (WHS) mental module may be an effective strategy to monitor and promote good (mental) health and work performance. The objective of this paper is to describe the design of a three arm cluster randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of a WHS mental module for nurses and allied health professionals. Two strategies for this WHS mental module will be compared along with data from a control group. Additionally, the cost effectiveness of the approaches will be evaluated from a societal perspective.
The study is designed as a cluster randomized controlled trial consisting of three arms (two intervention groups, 1 control group) with randomization at ward level. The study population consists of 86 departments in one Dutch academic medical center with a total of 1731 nurses and allied health professionals. At baseline, after three months and after six months of follow-up, outcomes will be assessed by online questionnaires. In both intervention arms, participants will complete a screening to detect problems in mental health and work functioning and receive feedback on their screening results. In cases of impairments in mental health or work functioning in the first intervention arm, a consultation with an occupational physician will be offered. The second intervention arm offers a choice of self-help e-mental health interventions, which will be tailored based on each individual's mental health state and work functioning. The primary outcomes will be help-seeking behavior and work functioning. Secondary outcomes will be mental health and wellbeing. Furthermore, cost-effectiveness in both intervention arms will be assessed, and a process evaluation will be performed.
When it is proven effective compared to a control group, a WHS mental module for nurses and allied health professionals could be implemented and used on a regular basis by occupational health services in hospitals to improve employees' mental health and work functioning.
Intimate partner violence has short- and long-term physical and mental health consequences. As the largest healthcare workforce globally, nurses are well positioned to care for abused women. However, their role in this regard has not been researched in some countries. This paper is based on a qualitative study that explored how Sri Lankan nurses perceive their role in caring for women who have experienced partner violence. Interviews with 30 nurses who worked in diverse clinical and geographical settings in Sri Lanka revealed that nurses' role involved: identifying abuse, taking care of patients' physical needs, attending to their safety, providing support and advice, and making referrals. Barriers to providing care included lack of knowledge; heavy workload; language barriers; threats to personal safety; nurses' status within the healthcare hierarchy; and lack of communication and collaboration between various stakeholder groups within the healthcare system. Nurses also identified a lack of appropriate services and support within hospitals and in the community. The findings reveal an urgent need for the healthcare system to respond to nurses' educational and training needs and help them function autonomously within multidisciplinary teams when caring for abused women. The findings also point to a need to address institutional barriers including the lack of appropriate services for abused women.
Collaborative care is a disease management strategy that aims to simultaneously target medical/surgical (e.g., physical injury) and psychiatric (e.g., PTSD and depression) conditions. Collaborative care interventions hold promise for the delivery of mental health interventions in acute care as they can incorporate front-line trauma center providers such as social workers and nurses into early mental health services delivery and can link trauma center care to outpatient services. Initial randomized clinical trial evidence suggests that collaborative care interventions that incorporate evidence-based motivational interviewing targeting alcohol use, as well as pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy targeting PTSD, may reduce both alcohol and PTSD symptoms among injured trauma surgery patients. Trials conducted to date thus suggest that early mental health interventions can be feasibly and effectively delivered from trauma centers. Future collaborative care investigations that refine routine acute care treatment procedures and target acute care policy mandates can improve the quality of mental health care for Americans injured in the wake of individual and mass trauma.
Collaborative Care; PTSD; Trauma Center; Alcohol
Well-documented health research points to trans people's vulnerability to health inequities that are linked to deeply embedded structural and social determinants of health. Gender and work, as social determinants of health for trans people, both shape and are shaped by multiple factors such as support networks, social environments, income and social status, shelter, and personal health practices. There is a gap in the nursing literature in regards to research on work and health for diverse trans people and a virtual silence on the particular issues of trans-identified health providers. This qualitative study used comparative life history methodology and purposeful sampling to examine links among work, career, and health for transmen who are health providers. Semistructured interviews were completed with four Canadian transmen involved in health care professional and/or practice contexts with diverse professions, age, work, and transitioning experiences. Critical gender analysis showed that unique and gender-related critical events and influences shape continuities and discontinuities in their careerlives. This strength-based approach foregrounds how resilience and growth emerged through participants' articulation with everyday gender dynamics. These findings have implications for nursing research, education, and practice that include an understanding of how trans providers “do transgender work” and supporting them in that process.
Homeless populations have complex and diverse end-of-life care needs. However, they typically die outside of the end-of-life care system. To date, few studies have explored barriers to the end-of-life care system for homeless populations. This qualitative study involving health and social services professionals from across Canada sought to identify barriers to the end-of-life care system for homeless populations and generate recommendations to improve their access to end-of-life care.
Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 54 health and social services professionals involved in end-of-life care services delivery to homeless persons in six Canadian cities (Halifax, Hamilton, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Winnipeg). Participants included health administrators, physicians, nurses, social workers, harm reduction specialists, and outreach workers. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.
Participants identified key barriers to end-of-life care services for homeless persons, including: (1) insufficient availability of end-of-life care services; (2) exclusionary operating procedures; and, (3) poor continuity of care. Participants identified recommendations that they felt had the potential to minimize these barriers, including: (1) adopting low-threshold strategies (e.g. flexible behavioural policies and harm reduction strategies); (2) linking with population-specific health and social care providers (e.g. emergency shelters); and, (3) strengthening population-specific training.
Homeless persons may be underserved by the end-of-life care system as a result of barriers that they face to accessing end-of-life care services. Changes in the rules and regulations that reflect the health needs and circumstances of homeless persons and measures to improve continuity of care have the potential to increase equity in the end-of-life care system for this underserved population.
More and more allied health professions are getting involved in clinical health care. One estimate reported allied health personnel makes up 60 percent of the total health workforce. In Asia, in the field of cardiothoracic surgery, allied health personnel includes perfusionists, physician assistants, physiotherapist, intensivists, rehabilitation therapists, nutritionists and social workers. They work in collaboration with surgeons to provide a range of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, cardiac care and support services to the patients and their families.
Some allied health professions are more specialized. They must adhere to national training and education standards and their professional scope of practice. For example, the training of perfusionists consists of at least five years of academic in medical schools and another three-year-long clinical training in the hospital. The cardiac intensivists usually are medical doctors with a background in cardiology. They spend 3-4 years rotating in Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology, Emergency Rooms and Intensive Care Units. There have specialized medical societies to grant certified credentials and to provide continuing education. Other allied health professions require no special training or credentials and are trained for their work by the hospitals through on-the-job training.
Many young health care providers are getting involved in the allied health personnel projects. They consider this as a career ladder because of the opportunities for advancement within specific fields.
cardiac surgery; allied health professionals; perfusion; nursing
OBJECTIVE--To describe the nature and distribution of mental health professionals working on site in general practices. DESIGN--Postal questionnaire and telephone interview survey. SETTING--English and Welsh general practices. SUBJECTS--1880 general practitioners, of whom 1542 (82%) responded. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Prevalence, types, and distribution of mental health professionals working on site among general practices. Factors predicting the presence of mental health professionals on site. RESULTS--The number of practices reporting the presence on site of each type of professional were 528 for community psychiatric nurses; 266 for practice counsellors; 177 for clinical psychologists; 132 for psychiatrists; 96 for psychiatric social workers; and 45 for psychotherapists. Mental health professionals tended to cluster together in practices more often than expected by chance alone. Practice characteristics which independently predicted the presence of a mental health professional on site were having four or more partners; being a training practice; and running stress, bereavement, or other mental health clinics. The proportions of practices with mental health professionals on site varied significantly among health regions. There was no association between the presence of mental health professionals on site and the location of practices, the social class mix of patients, or the estimated percentage of elderly patients or patients of non-European origin. CONCLUSIONS--Mental health professionals tend to cluster together, with a preponderance in larger training practices. Specialist mental health care provision within general practices is unevenly distributed. Further research is needed to determine whether this uneven distribution reflects differences in need or inequalities in the provision of mental health services.
Continuity of care for long-term service-dependent patients in the public mental health system requires intensive collaboration between all agencies involved. Understanding the ways in which various aspects of continuity of care interact may reveal help to find out more about how care delivered over time improves outcomes.
Based on medical records, an addicted couple was monitored for number and type of contacts with health and social services. Over the years, 81 social workers or nurses, spread over 25 health and social services, have been involved in the rehabilitation process. Breakdown of continuity of care is linked to lack of information, missing procedures and guidelines, fragile relationships with the patient, and a reluctant public health approach.
Prominent among relevant factors is the absence of protocols governing the transfer of patients between the various links in the continuum of mental healthcare services. High-quality follow-up after admission is partly a matter of professional principle in ensuring that problems in the chain of services are discussed. Case presentation in psychiatric journals should give systematic attention to sources of error in continuity of mental healthcare.
continuity of care; admission follow-up; public mental healthcare
In summing up, I have explored briefly some notions on the elements of nursing through the theme of partnership with the public and with others involved in health care. These notions, which are by no means exclusive, have centred around five main areas; Firstly, the unique personal characteristics demanded by the closeness of sustained contact with patients and clients; Secondly, the primacy of the patient's and the public's needs in defining nursing or any other health care profession; Thirdly, the need for nursing both individually and organisationally to look outwards and engage with the wider public and their changing attitudes towards the professions; Fourthly, the unique skill of 'creating community', working with, co-ordinating and leading teams across disciplines in the interests of the patient and the challenge that true effectiveness of multi-disciplinary working presents for both education and practice; and Fifthly, the importance of reflective practice throughout the working life of nurses as a means of better meeting patients' needs. How nursing retains this focus whilst adapting to a constantly and rapidly shifting health and social care environment, will largely determine how nursing endures as a profession. If the example set by Florence Elliott and the many innovations and developments at the Royal Victoria Hospital are anything to go by, the people of Northern Ireland, nurses in Northern Ireland and health care generally in Northern Ireland, can look forward to another 200 years of healthy partnership.
The purpose of this study was to explore through interviews of healthcare professionals their perspectives on elder abuse to achieve a better understanding of the problems of reporting and generate ideas for improving the process. Through a mailed survey, nurses, physicians, and social workers were invited to participate in an interview. Nine nurses, 8 physicians, and 6 social workers were interviewed and thematic analysis was used to identify the following core themes: professional orientation, assessment, interpretation, systems, and knowledge and education. The impact by healthcare professionals in recognizing and reporting elder abuse and obtaining resources for those mistreated can be profound. Nurses tended to perceive elder abuse as uncommon and generally did not feel it was their role nor did they have time to assess patients for potential abuse. Physicians felt that other patient care issues, time limitations and maintaining trust in the clinician-patient relationship outweighed the importance of detecting and pursuing suspected cases of elder abuse. Social workers, although having the most knowledge and experience related to elder abuse, relied on nurses and physicians to detect potential abusive situations and to work with them in making appropriate referrals. The three disciplines acknowledged the need for more and better education about elder abuse detection and reporting. Participants suggested a reorganization of the external reporting system. More frequent and pragmatic education is necessary to strengthen practical knowledge about elder abuse.
elder abuse; elder mistreatment; primary care; reporting
In this paper, integrated care in an inter-organisational cooperative setting of in-home elderly care is studied. The aim is to explore how home care workers coordinate their daily work, identify coordination issues in situ and discuss possible actions for supporting seamless and integrated elderly care at home.
The empirical findings are drawn from an ethnographic workplace study of the cooperation and coordination taking place between home care workers in a Swedish county. Data were collected through observational studies, interviews and group discussions.
The paper identifies a need to support two core issues. Firstly, it must be made clear how the care interventions that are currently defined as ‘self-treatment’ by the home health care should be divided. Secondly, the distributed and asynchronous coordination between all care workers involved, regardless of organisational belonging must be better supported.
Integrated care needs to be developed between organisations as well as within each organisation. As a matter of fact, integrated care needs to be built up beyond organisational boundaries. Organisational boundaries affect the planning of the division of care interventions, but not the coordination during the home care process. During the home care process, the main challenge is the coordination difficulties that arise from the fact that workers are distributed in time and/or space, regardless of organisational belonging. A core subject for future practice and research is to develop IT tools that reach beyond formal organisational boundaries and processes while remaining adaptable in view of future structure changes.
integrated care; cooperative work; coordination; home care; home health care; home help service
Examination of consultation data in a variety of primary care settings in Tanzania shows that, while psychoses are routinely diagnosed and treated at primary care level, depression is rarely recorded as a reason for consultation. Since, epidemiological studies elswhere show that depression is a much more common disorder than psychosis, a series of studies were undertaken to elucidate this apparent paradox in Tanzania and inform mental health policy; firstly, a household prevalence study to ascertain the prevalence of common mental disorders at community level in Tanzania; secondly, a study to ascertain the prevalence of common mental disorders in primary care attenders; and thirdly, a study to ascertain the current status of the knowledge, attitude and practice pertaining to depression among primary health care workers. This paper reports the findings of the latter study.
All the primary health care workers (N = 14) in four primary health care centres in Tanzania were asked to complete the Depression Attitude Questionnaire, which assesses the health worker's knowledge and attitude towards the causes, consequences and treatment of depression.
The majority of respondents felt that rates of depression had increased in recent years, believed that life events were important in the aetiology of depression, and generally held positive views about pharmacological and psychological treatments of depression, prognosis and their own involvement in the treatment of depressed patients.
However, the majority of respondents felt that becoming depressed is a way that people with poor stamina deal with life difficulties.
The findings suggest a need to strengthen the training of primary health care workers in Tanzania about the detection of depression, pharmacological and psychological treatments, and psychosocial interventions.
The Global Mental Health Assessment Tool — Primary Care Version (GMHAT/PC) has been developed to assist health professionals to make a quick and comprehensive standardised mental health assessment. It has proved to be a reliable and valid tool in a previous study involving GPs. Its use by other health professionals may help in detecting and managing mental disorders in primary care and general health settings.
To assess the feasibility of using a computer-assisted diagnostic interview by nurses and to examine the level of agreement between the GMHAT/PC diagnosis and psychiatrists' clinical diagnosis.
Design of study
Cross-sectional validation study.
Primary care, general healthcare (cardiac rehabilitation clinic), and community mental healthcare settings.
A total of 215 patients between the ages of 16 and 75 years were assessed by nurses and psychiatrists in various settings: primary care centre (n = 54), cardiac rehabilitation centre (n = 98), and community mental health clinic (n = 63). The time taken for the interview, and feedback from patients and interviewers were indicators of feasibility, and the kappa coefficient (κ), sensitivity, and specificity of the GMHAT/PC diagnosis were measures of validity.
Mean duration of interview was under 15 minutes. The agreement between nurses' GMHAT/PC interview-based diagnosis and psychiatrists' International Classification of Diseases (ICD)–10 criteria-based clinical diagnosis was 80% (κ = 0.76, sensitivity = 0.84, specificity = 0.92).
The GMHAT/PC can assist nurses to make accurate mental health assessment and diagnosis in various healthcare settings and it is acceptable to patients.
diagnosis; computer-assisted; mental disorders; mental health services; psychiatric diagnosis
Collaboration between general practice and mental health care has been recognised as necessary to provide good quality healthcare services to people with mental health problems. Several studies indicate that collaboration often is poor, with the result that patient' needs for coordinated services are not sufficiently met, and that resources are inefficiently used. An increasing number of mental health care workers should improve mental health services, but may complicate collaboration and coordination between mental health workers and other professionals in the treatment chain. The aim of this qualitative study is to investigate strengths and weaknesses in today's collaboration, and to suggest improvements in the interaction between General Practitioners (GPs) and specialised mental health service.
This paper presents a qualitative focus group study with data drawn from six groups and eight group sessions with 28 health professionals (10 GPs, 12 nurses, and 6 physicians doing post-doctoral training in psychiatry), all working in the same region and assumed to make professional contact with each other.
GPs and mental health professionals shared each others expressions of strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for improvement in today's collaboration. Strengths in today's collaboration were related to common consultations between GPs and mental health professionals, and when GPs were able to receive advice about diagnostic treatment dilemmas. Weaknesses were related to the GPs' possibility to meet mental health professionals, and lack of mutual knowledge in mental health services. The results describe experiences and importance of interpersonal knowledge, mutual accessibility and familiarity with existing systems and resources. There is an agreement between GPs and mental health professionals that services will improve with shared knowledge about patients through systematic collaborative services, direct cell-phone lines to mental health professionals and allocated times for telephone consultation.
GPs and mental health professionals experience collaboration as important. GPs are the gate-keepers to specialised health care, and lack of collaboration seems to create problems for GPs, mental health professionals, and for the patients. Suggestions for improvement included identification of situations that could increase mutual knowledge, and make it easier for GPs to reach the right mental health care professional when needed.
The attachment of social workers to general practices has increased recently and this study reports some of the factors which affect the success of such arrangements.
Access to a room in the surgery for interviewing and the use of a telephone is an important factor as the time spent by the social worker in the premises increases the chance of making good working relationships with members of the primary health care team.
When the social worker handles all the cases personally there are advantages, especially for other members of the primary health care team, although in such a situation a social worker may become relatively isolated from her own profession. The organization of the practice itself is an important variable, especially the degree of commitment by members of the primary care team, and the attitudes of the doctors. It is helpful if the doctors meet together as a group or with other professionals. Equally, the social worker must be committed to the role. Social work attachments to health centres can be particularly effective. The lack of preliminary discussion with the social work agency can contribute to difficulties in such attachments, and preliminary meetings should include discussions about the type of cases to be referred and the quantity of social work time available.
This paper discusses the organization of mental health care for youth in Nunavik and considers how best to adapt care to the sociocultural and geographical specificities of this region.
Services are described and discussed by a general practitioner and a community worker in Nunavik.
Current social and medical care delivery in Nunavik is provided by professionals who are largely non-Inuit and who are supported by Inuit community workers and interpreters. Community workers are key players in the provision of social and mental health care for youth. Efforts are made to adapt care to the sociocultural specificities of Inuit youth, and to locally-based multidisciplinary care addressing the multiple determinants of mental health.
While efforts to adapt care are ongoing, the ideal model of care integrating transcultural, multidisciplinary and community-oriented approaches are yet to become a reality. Increased communication among care providers is suggested as a way to strengthen the current collaborative model of care. Future goals include having a majority of care being provided locally and building community ownership and governance of care institutions.
Inuit youth; Nunavik; mental health care; enfants et adolescents inuit; Nunavik; soins de santé mentale
Various forms of collaboration between the disciplines of public health and psychiatry are briefly reviewed and the 25-year-old mental health program of the Vancouver Health Department is described. The public health nurse has prime responsibility in all children with emotional disorders. She is supported by a psychiatric team which provides active treatment and educational and consultative help for the nurse and the school. During the year 1963, six social workers had 2357 contacts with nurses and school personnel but only 1049 treatment interviews. Of 401 children referred to the psychiatric team, 138 received active clinic treatment, 141 remained under supervision by the public health nurse, and 122 were referred elsewhere. In addition, 1330 children were identified as “mental hygiene cases” in the caseload of the 170 public health nurses in the community. By close co-ordination, the public health nurse and the psychiatric team can enhance each other's contributions to community mental health.
Depending on jurisdiction, time period studied, and specifics of the population, approximately 50 percent of mothers who suffer from schizophrenia lose custody of their children. The aim of this paper is to recommend interventions aimed at preventing unnecessary custody loss. This paper reviews the social work, nursing, psychology, psychiatry, and law literature on mental illness and custody loss, 2000–2011. Recommendations to mothers are to (a) ensure family health (b) prevent psychotic relapse, (c) prepare in advance for crisis, (d) document daily parenting activities, (e) take advantage of available parenting resources, and f) become knowledgeable about legal issues that pertain to mental health and custody. From a policy perspective, child protection and adult mental health agencies need to dissolve administrative barriers and collaborate. Access to appropriate services will help mothers with schizophrenia to care appropriately for their children and allow these children to grow and develop within their family and community.
This paper describes a malaria research project in The Gambia to provoke thinking on the social value of transnational research. The Larval Control Project (LCP) investigated the efficacy of a microbial insecticide to reduce vector density and, ultimately, clinical malaria in Gambian children. The LCP’s protocol delineated a clinical surveillance scheme that involved Village Health Workers (VHWs) supported by project nurses. Combining insights from ethnographic fieldwork conducted at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratories in Farafenni from 2005 to 2009, open-ended interviews with project nurses, and eight focus group discussions held with participant mothers in October 2007, we consider the social impact of the LCP’s investigative method against the backdrop of several years of research activity. We found that while participants associated the LCP with the clinical care it provided, they also regarded the collaboration between the nurses and VHWs added additional benefits. Organised around the operational functions of the trial, small-scale collaborations provided the platform from which to build local capacity. While ethical guidelines emphasise the considerations that must be added to experimental endeavour in southern countries (e.g. elaborating processes of informed consent, developing strategies of community engagement or providing therapeutic access to participants after the trial concludes), these findings suggest that shifting attention from supplementing ethical protocols to the everyday work of research – embedding ethics through scientific activity – may provide a sounder basis to reinforce the relationship between scientific rigour and social value.
Africa; The Gambia; Research ethics; Social technology studies; Malaria; Embedding
Health care professionals need to be well informed about advance directives for medical care in the event a patient becomes incapacitated. The Patient Self-Determination Act requires that all patients be advised of their options at the time of hospital admission. Hospitals and health care professionals will need to work together to plan for implementing this law. We surveyed 215 physicians, nurses, and social workers at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center about the California advance directive, the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. Attitudes were generally positive. All of the social workers had heard of the durable power of attorney directive, but 36% of physicians and nurses had never heard of it and an additional 20% had no experience with one. For respondents who had heard of the directive, the mean knowledge score was 6.35 of a possible 10 (5 predicted by chance). Respondents brought up the issue of durable power of attorney with patients before a crisis only 19% of the time and determined whether one had been signed for only 16% of older patients in hospital. The most commonly cited reasons for failure to discuss this with patients were lack of proper forms, pamphlets, or a place to refer a patient. Of those who had ever seen such a document in use, 42% were aware of a problem with it at some time. Whereas attitudes toward advance directives are positive, many physicians and nurses had little knowledge of the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and were poorly equipped to discuss it with patients. We encourage educating hospital staff to prepare for the enactment of the Patient Self-Determination Act. We also recommend that the concerns raised by professionals about the use of a durable power of attorney be addressed.
The importance of using a common language when communicating to others about back pain is acknowledged in the literature. There are broadly three areas where difficulties in communication about back pain arise. Firstly, patients seeking information from health care professionals can experience difficulties understanding them and the medical literature; secondly, misunderstandings among health professionals concerning terminology can arise. Thirdly, the lack of standardised definitions for back pain terms can make comparison of research studies problematic. This study aims to explore the meanings and issues surrounding the use of existing medical terms for back pain from the perspective of health care professionals, lay people who have consulted health care practitioners for back pain and lay people who have not seen a health care professional regarding back pain.
A series of focus groups were used to explore participants' understanding. A purposive sampling approach was used to achieve a sample which included general practitioners, chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, and lay people. Focus groups were facilitated by an independent professional qualitative researcher. They were audio taped and full transcripts of each focus group underwent line by line analysis, identifying concepts and coded. Constant comparison was used to allow each item to be checked or compared against the rest of the data
Lay participants understood the majority of the terms explored in the group differently to the health professionals. The terms, as understood by the lay participants, can be split into three broad categories. Firstly, terms which were not understood or were misconstrued and which had inadvertent negative connotations or implications. Secondly, terms which were not understood or were misconstrued, but without this leading to negative emotional responses. Thirdly, terms which were understood by lay participants as the health professionals stated they intended them to be understood.
Few of the existing medical terms were understood and accepted by lay participants in the way discussed and expected by health professionals. Misunderstandings, unintended meanings and negative emotional responses to terms were common within the study focus groups.
To describe the development and implementation of an interprofessional activity using standardized patients.
In the interprofessional standardized patient experience (ISPE), pharmacy students are teamed with medical and nursing students. This team completes an assessment of a standardized patient. During this assessment, each student has time to interview the patient according to his/her own skills and patient care perspective. After the assessment is completed, the team collaborates to develop a patient care plan. Pre-experience and post-experience surveys were conducted.
Pharmacy students' appreciation for each profession's role in patient care increased.
Despite multiple challenges, an interprofessional activity involving multiple health professionals from multiple institutions can be successfully implemented. Feedback from pharmacy students indicated that this activity increased students' awareness and ability to work as members of the health professional team.
interprofessional education; interdisciplinary education; standardized patients
Policies emphasise the importance of collaborative working in community palliative care. Collaborations are generally formed through formal and informal referral processes, but little is known about what influences professionals' decisions to refer to such services.
To explore the influences on referrals within general and specialist community palliative care services.
Design of study
Qualitative, multiple-case study.
Three primary care trusts in the north-west of England.
Multiple data collection methods were employed, including documentary analysis, observation of referral team meetings and interviews. This paper primarily reports data from interviews with 47 health professionals, including GPs, district nurses, and specialist palliative care professionals.
Judgements — positive and negative — about aspects of fellow professionals' performances appeared to influence referral decisions and ongoing collaboration and care. Attributes upon which these judgements were based included professional responsiveness and communication, respect, working and workload management practices, perceived expertise, and notions of elite practice. The effects of such judgements on referral and healthcare practices were altered by professional ‘game playing’ to achieve professionals' desired outcomes.
Palliative care policies and protocols need to take account of these complex and subtle influences on referrals and collaboration. In particular, teamwork and partnership are encouraged within palliative care work, but critical judgements indicate that such partnerships may be difficult or fragile. It is likely that such judgemental attitudes and practices affect many aspects of primary care, not just palliative care.
case study; interprofessional care; palliative care; primary health care; qualitative research
Few studies have examined empowerment interventions as they actually unfold in home care in the context of chronic health problems. This study aims to document the empowerment process as it plays out in interventions with adults receiving home care services.
The qualitative design chosen is a fourth generation evaluation combined with case studies. A home care team of a health and social services center situated in the Eastern Townships (Québec, Canada) will be involved at every step in the study. A sample will be formed of 15 health care professionals and 30 of their home care clients and caregiver. Semi-structured interviews, observations of home care interventions and socio-demographic questionnaires will be used to collect the data. Nine instruments used by the team in prior studies will be adapted and reviewed. A personal log will document the observers' perspectives in order to foster objectivity and the focus on the intervention. The in-depth qualitative analysis of the data will illustrate profiles of enabling interventions and individual empowerment.
The ongoing process to transform the health care and social services network creates a growing need to examine intervention practices of health care professionals working with clients receiving home care services. This study will provide the opportunity to examine how the intervention process plays out in real-life situations and how health care professionals, clients and caregivers experience it. The intervention process and individual empowerment examined in this study will enhance the growing body of knowledge about empowerment.
To examine family health team (FHT) members’ perspectives and experiences of interprofessional collaboration and perceived benefits.
Qualitative case study using semistructured interviews.
Fourteen FHTs in urban and rural Ontario.
Purposeful sample of the members of 14 FHTs, including family physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, and managers.
A multiple case-study approach involving 14 FHTs was employed. Thirty-two semistructured interviews were conducted and data were analyzed by employing an inductive thematic approach. A member-checking technique was also undertaken to enhance the validity of the findings.
Five main themes are reported: rethinking traditional roles and scopes of practice, management and leadership, time and space, interprofessional initiatives, and early perceptions of collaborative care.
This study shows the importance of issues such as roles and scopes of practice, leadership, and space to effective team-based primary care, and provides a framework for understanding different types of interprofessional interventions used to support interprofessional collaboration.