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Interprofessional collaboration within fluid teams : community nurses' experiences with palliative home care

Fien Mertens (UGent) , Anneleen De Gendt, Myriam Deveugele (UGent) , Ann Van Hecke (UGent) and Peter Pype (UGent)
(2019) JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING. 28(19-20). p.3680-3690
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Organization
Abstract
Aims and objectives: To explore how community nurses experience the collaboration with general practitioners and specialist palliative home care team nurses in palliative home care and the perceived factors influencing this collaboration. Background: The complexity of, and the demand for, palliative home care is increasing. Primary palliative care is provided by community nurses and general practitioners, often in collaboration with palliative home care team nurses. Although these professionals may each individually be part of a fixed team, a new temporary team is often composed for every new palliative patient. These membership changes, referred to as team membership fluidity, challenge professionals to work effectively. Design and methods: A qualitative research design, using semi-structured interviews with community nurses. Participant selection happened through regional palliative care networks in Belgium. The network's palliative home care team nurses selected community nurses with whom they recently collaborated. Twenty interviews were conducted. A constant comparative analysis approach was used. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research guidelines were followed. Results: Formal interprofessional team meetings were not common practice. The other's approachability and knowing each other positively influenced the collaboration. Time constraints, the general practitioners' lack of expertise, communication style, hierarchy perception and income dependency negatively influenced the collaboration with general practitioners and determined palliative home care team nurses' involvement. The coping strategies of community nurses balanced between a behaviour focused to the patient and to the professional relationship. Specialist palliative home care team nurses were relied upon for their expertise but also to mediate when community nurses disagreed with general practitioners. Conclusion: Community nurses showed to be highly adaptable within the fluid team. Strikingly, dynamics described in the doctor-nurse game 50 years ago are still present today and affect the interprofessional communication. Interprofessional education interventions can contribute to improved interprofessional collaboration. Relevance to clinical practice: The study findings uncovered critical knowledge gaps in interprofessional collaboration in palliative home care. Insights are relevant for and related to professional well-being and workplace learning.
Keywords
ad hoc team, community nursing, fluid team, interprofessional collaboration, palliative care, primary health care, qualitative research, teamwork, OF-LIFE CARE, GENERAL-PRACTITIONERS, HEALTH-CARE, END, BARRIERS, FACILITATORS, PHYSICIANS, MEDICINE, TEAMWORK, WORKING

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MLA
Mertens, Fien, et al. “Interprofessional Collaboration within Fluid Teams : Community Nurses’ Experiences with Palliative Home Care.” JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING, vol. 28, no. 19–20, 2019, pp. 3680–90.
APA
Mertens, F., De Gendt, A., Deveugele, M., Van Hecke, A., & Pype, P. (2019). Interprofessional collaboration within fluid teams : community nurses’ experiences with palliative home care. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING, 28(19–20), 3680–3690.
Chicago author-date
Mertens, Fien, Anneleen De Gendt, Myriam Deveugele, Ann Van Hecke, and Peter Pype. 2019. “Interprofessional Collaboration within Fluid Teams : Community Nurses’ Experiences with Palliative Home Care.” JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING 28 (19–20): 3680–90.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Mertens, Fien, Anneleen De Gendt, Myriam Deveugele, Ann Van Hecke, and Peter Pype. 2019. “Interprofessional Collaboration within Fluid Teams : Community Nurses’ Experiences with Palliative Home Care.” JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING 28 (19–20): 3680–3690.
Vancouver
1.
Mertens F, De Gendt A, Deveugele M, Van Hecke A, Pype P. Interprofessional collaboration within fluid teams : community nurses’ experiences with palliative home care. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING. 2019;28(19–20):3680–90.
IEEE
[1]
F. Mertens, A. De Gendt, M. Deveugele, A. Van Hecke, and P. Pype, “Interprofessional collaboration within fluid teams : community nurses’ experiences with palliative home care,” JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING, vol. 28, no. 19–20, pp. 3680–3690, 2019.
@article{8627926,
  abstract     = {Aims and objectives: To explore how community nurses experience the collaboration with general practitioners and specialist palliative home care team nurses in palliative home care and the perceived factors influencing this collaboration.
Background: The complexity of, and the demand for, palliative home care is increasing. Primary palliative care is provided by community nurses and general practitioners, often in collaboration with palliative home care team nurses. Although these professionals may each individually be part of a fixed team, a new temporary team is often composed for every new palliative patient. These membership changes, referred to as team membership fluidity, challenge professionals to work effectively.
Design and methods: A qualitative research design, using semi-structured interviews with community nurses. Participant selection happened through regional palliative care networks in Belgium. The network's palliative home care team nurses selected community nurses with whom they recently collaborated. Twenty interviews were conducted. A constant comparative analysis approach was used. Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research guidelines were followed.
Results: Formal interprofessional team meetings were not common practice. The other's approachability and knowing each other positively influenced the collaboration. Time constraints, the general practitioners' lack of expertise, communication style, hierarchy perception and income dependency negatively influenced the collaboration with general practitioners and determined palliative home care team nurses' involvement. The coping strategies of community nurses balanced between a behaviour focused to the patient and to the professional relationship. Specialist palliative home care team nurses were relied upon for their expertise but also to mediate when community nurses disagreed with general practitioners.
Conclusion: Community nurses showed to be highly adaptable within the fluid team. Strikingly, dynamics described in the doctor-nurse game 50 years ago are still present today and affect the interprofessional communication. Interprofessional education interventions can contribute to improved interprofessional collaboration.
Relevance to clinical practice: The study findings uncovered critical knowledge gaps in interprofessional collaboration in palliative home care. Insights are relevant for and related to professional well-being and workplace learning.},
  author       = {Mertens, Fien and De Gendt, Anneleen and Deveugele, Myriam and Van Hecke, Ann and Pype, Peter},
  issn         = {0962-1067},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NURSING},
  keywords     = {ad hoc team,community nursing,fluid team,interprofessional collaboration,palliative care,primary health care,qualitative research,teamwork,OF-LIFE CARE,GENERAL-PRACTITIONERS,HEALTH-CARE,END,BARRIERS,FACILITATORS,PHYSICIANS,MEDICINE,TEAMWORK,WORKING},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {19-20},
  pages        = {3680--3690},
  title        = {Interprofessional collaboration within fluid teams : community nurses' experiences with palliative home care},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14969},
  volume       = {28},
  year         = {2019},
}

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