Terminology used to describe health care teams: an integrative review of the literature

Chamberlain-Salaun, Jennifer, Mills, Jane, and Usher, Kim (2013) Terminology used to describe health care teams: an integrative review of the literature. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 6. pp. 65-74.

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Purpose: Health systems around the world are struggling to meet the needs of aging populations and increasing numbers of clients with complex health conditions. Faced with multiple health system challenges, governments are advocating for team-based approaches to health care. Key descriptors used to describe health care teams include "interprofessional," "multiprofessional," "interdisciplinary," and "multidisciplinary." Until now there has been no review of the use of terminology relating to health care teams. The purpose of this integrative review is to provide a descriptive analysis of terminology used to describe health care teams.

Methods: An integrative review of the literature was conducted because it allows for the inclusion of literature related to studies using diverse methodologies. The authors searched the literature using the terms interprofessional, multiprofessional, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary combined with “health teams” and “health care teams.” Refining strategies included a requirement that journal articles define the term used to describe health care teams and include a list of health care team members. The literature selection process resulted in the inclusion of 17 journal articles in this review.

Results: Multidisciplinary is more frequently used than other terminology to describe health care teams. The findings in this review relate to frequency of terminology usage, justifications for use of specific terminology, commonalities and patterns related to country of origin of research studies and health care areas, ways in which terminology is used, structure of team membership, and perspectives of definitions used.

Conclusion: Stakeholders across the health care continuum share responsibility for developing and consistently using terminology that is both common and meaningful. Notwithstanding some congruence in terminology usage, this review highlights inconsistencies in the literature and suggests that broad debate among policy makers, clinicians, educators, researchers, and consumers is still required to reach useful consensus.

Item ID: 28404
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1178-2390
Keywords: descriptors, interprofessional, multiprofessional, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary
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Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2013 06:15
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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