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Int J Integr Care. 2018 Apr 27;18(2):9. doi: 10.5334/ijic.3432.

Communication and Relational Ties in Inter-Professional Teams in Norwegian Specialized Health Care: A Multicentre Study of Relational Coordination.

Author information

1
Centre for Habilitation and Rehabilitation in Western Norway, Haukeland University Hospital, Department of Global Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, NO.
2
Department of Global Health and Primary Health Care, University of Bergen, NO.
3
Centre for Clinical Research, Haukeland University Hospital, NO.
4
Health West IKT, Research Network on Integrated Health Care, Helse Fonna Local Health Authority, NO.
5
Research Network on Integrated Health Care, Helse Fonna Local Health Authority, Section of Research and Innovation, Helse Fonna Local Health Authority, NO.

Abstract

Introduction:

The delivery of integrated care depends on the quality of communication and relationships among health-care professionals in inter-professional teams. The main aim of this study was to investigate individual and team communication and relational ties of teams in specific care processes within specialized health care.

Methods:

This cross-sectional multi-centre study used data from six somatic hospitals and six psychiatric units (N = 263 [response rate, 52%], 23 care processes) using a Norwegian version of the Relational Coordination Survey. We employed linear mixed-effect regression models and one-way analyses of variance.

Results:

The mean (standard deviation) relational coordination total score ranged from 4.5 (0.33) to 2.7 (0.50). The communication and relationship sub-scale scores were significantly higher within similar functional groups than between contrasting functional groups (P < .05). Written clinical procedures were significantly associated with higher communication scores (P < .05). The proportion of women in a team was associated with higher communication and relationship scores (P < .05).

Conclusion:

The Relational Coordination Survey shows a marked variation in team functions within inter-professional teams in specialized health-care settings. Further research is needed to determine the reasons for these variations.

KEYWORDS:

Relational Coordination; Teamwork; coordination; integrated care; multilevel analysis

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