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J Palliat Care. 2012 Winter;28(4):282-9.

Factors enabling shared care with primary healthcare providers in community settings: the experiences of interdisciplinary palliative care teams.

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  • 1School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Interdisciplinary palliative care (PC) teams experience a number of barriers in their efforts to establish and maintain shared care partnerships with primary health care providers (PHCPs) in caring for patients in community settings. A qualitative study,was undertaken in southern Ontario to examine how teams negotiate barriers in order to share mutual responsibility for patients with PHCPs (i.e., family physicians and community nurses). Over a one-year period, focus group interviews (n=15) were conducted with five teams to explore their experiences to better understand the factors that enable shared care. Using a conceptual framework put forth by Williams et al. (2010), the findings reveal that teams circumvent local level barriers through four enabling factors: team characteristics, geography, adaptation of practice, and relationship building. Understanding these factors and strategies to foster them will assist other jurisdictions wanting to establish a similar shared care service delivery model.

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