Understanding collaboration in general practice: a qualitative study
Background: An increased incidence of chronic and complex conditions in the community is placing pressure on human resources in general practice. Improving collaboration between GPs and registered nurses may help alleviate workforce stressors and enhance health outcomes.
Objective: To explore the facilitators and challenges of collaboration between GPs and registered nurses in Australian general practice.
Methods: Eight GPs and 14 registered nurses from general practices in New South Wales, Australia, participated in semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Recordings were transcribed verbatim and underwent thematic analysis.
Results: The overarching theme 'Understanding collaboration in general practice' comprises four sub-themes, namely (i) interpreting collaboration in general practice, (ii) modes of communication, (iii) facilitators of collaboration and (iv) collaboration in practice.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that regular, formal avenues of communication, professional development and non-hierarchical environments facilitated collaboration between nurses and GPs. Implementing strategies to promote these features has the potential to improve inter-professional collaboration and quality of care within primary care.
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