BACKGROUND: Teamwork is a standard of care in palliative care and that is emphasized by leading organizations. When interdisciplinary teams communicate their varied assessments, outcomes may be more than additive due to the synthesis of information. Interprofessionality does not guarantee multidimensionality in health care interventions, however, and that interprofessional teams promote collaboration may be questioned.
AIM: The aim was to explore team interaction among team members in specialized palliative care teams.
DESIGN: Semistructured interviews were conducted with health professionals working in specialized palliative home care teams. The interviews were analyzed by content analysis.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Participants were recruited from specialized palliative care units in Sweden. The 15 interviewees included 4 men and 11 women. Physcians, nurses, paramedical staff, and social workers were included.
RESULTS: Organizational issues like resources and leadership have a great impact on delivery of care. Competence was mirrored in education, collaboration, approach, and support within the team; while communication was described as key to being a team, resolving conflict, and executing palliative care.
CONCLUSION: Communication and communication patterns within the team create the feeling of being a team. Team climate and team performance are significantly impacted by knowledge and trust of competence in colleagues, with other professions, and by the available leadership. Proportions of different health professionals in the team have an impact on the focus and delivery of care. Interprofessional education giving clarity on one's own professional role and knowledge of other professions would most likely benefit patients and family caregivers.
2013. Vol. 16, no 9, 1062-9 p.