Interprofessional team-based collaboration between designated GPs and care home staff: a qualitative study in an urban Danish setting

Line Due Christensen*, Linda Huibers, Flemming Bro, Morten Bondo Christensen, Anna Mygind

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Being a general practitioner for residents in many care homes may challenge communication with residents, relatives, and care home staff, and potentially lead to lower quality of care. Several countries have therefore introduced different solutions to reduce the number of general practitioners at each care home. In 2017, the designated general practitioner model was introduced at many Danish care homes. This study aimed to evaluate experiences from the interprofessional team-based collaboration between designated general practitioners and care home staff with regular contact with the designated general practitioners in an urban Danish setting. Methods: A qualitative design was applied using semi-structured interviews. Eight interviews (three group interviews and five individual interviews) were conducted with four designated general practitioners and seven care home staff members at four care homes in an urban setting of Central Denmark Region, Denmark. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, and data were analysed using content analysis with inspiration from the theory of relational coordination. The study followed the guidelines addressed in the COREQ (Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research) framework. Results: The initiation of the designated general practitioner model was experienced to contribute to more clear, precise, and timely communication between care homes and the general practitioner. An improved mutual acknowledgement of roles and competencies was experienced between designated general practitioners, care home nurses, and sometimes also social and health care assistants. The more frequent visits by the general practitioners at the care homes, as a result of the designated general practitioner model, resulted in more face-to-face communication between care home staff and designated general practitioners. Professional differences in the interpretation of the patient’s needs were still present, which at times caused a frustrating compromise of own professional competencies. An important reason for the overall perception of improved collaboration was attributed to the more frequent dialogue in which the care homes staff and the designated general practitioners exchanged knowledge that could be applied in future patient encounters. Conclusion: The designated general practitioner model implied an improved collaboration between general practitioners and care homes staff. Clear, precise, and timely communication between care homes and the general practitioners, as well as mutual trust and acknowledgement was experienced to be essential for the collaboration. An important reason for the overall perception of an improved collaboration was attributed to the more frequent dialogue (more frequent general practitioner visits at the care homes) in which the care homes staff and the designated general practitioners exchange knowledge which again could be applied in future patient encounters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalBMC Primary Care
Volume24
Issue1
Number of pages9
ISSN2731-4553
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Denmark
  • General practitioners
  • Interdisciplinary communication
  • Physician-nurse relations
  • Primary health care
  • Qualitative research
  • Residential facilities

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