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Health Serv Res Manag Epidemiol. 2015 Mar 16;2:2333392815573312. doi: 10.1177/2333392815573312. eCollection 2015 Jan-Dec.

Interprofessional Teamwork and Collaboration Between Community Health Workers and Healthcare Teams: An Integrative Review.

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Department of Family Medicine, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, East Boston, MA, USA.
School of Nursing, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA, USA.
College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA.
Partners in Health, Boston, MA, USA.



Community Health Workers (CHWs) serve as a means of improving outcomes for underserved populations. However, their relationship within health care teams is not well studied. The purpose of this integrative review was to examine published research reports that demonstrated positive health outcomes as a result of CHW intervention to identify interprofessional teamwork and collaboration between CHWs and health care teams.


A total of 47 studies spanning 33 years were reviewed using an integrative literature review methodology for evidence to support the following assumptions of effective interprofessional teamwork between CHWs and health care teams: (1) shared understanding of roles, norms, values, and goals of the team; (2) egalitarianism; (3) cooperation; (4) interdependence; and(5) synergy.


Of the 47 studies, 12 reported at least one assumption of effective interprofessional teamwork. Four studies demonstrated all 5 assumptions of interprofessional teamwork.


Four studies identified in this integrative review serve as exemplars for effective interprofessional teamwork between CHWs and health care teams. Further study is needed to describe the nature of interprofessional teamwork and collaboration in relation to patient health outcomes.


access to care; collaboration; community health; community health worker; interprofessional teamwork

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Conflicting Interests: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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