Interprofessional collaboration regarding patients' care plans in primary care: a focus group study into influential factors

Jerôme van Dongen*, Stephanie Anna Lenzen, Loes van Bokhoven, Ramon Daniels, Trudy van der Weijden, Anna Beurskens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The number of people with multiple chronic conditions demanding primary care services is increasing. To deal with the complex health care demands of these people, professionals from different disciplines collaborate. This study aims to explore influential factors regarding interprofessional collaboration related to care plan development in primary care. Methods: A qualitative study, including four semi-structured focus group interviews (n = 4). In total, a heterogeneous group of experts (n = 16) and health care professionals (n = 15) participated. Participants discussed viewpoints, barriers, and facilitators regarding interprofessional collaboration related to care plan development. The data were analysed by means of inductive content analysis. Results: The findings show a variety of factors influencing the interprofessional collaboration in developing a care plan. Factors can be divided into 5 key categories: (1) patient-related factors: active role, self-management, goals and wishes, membership of the team; (2) professional-related factors: individual competences, domain thinking, motivation; (3) interpersonal factors: language differences, knowing each other, trust and respect, and motivation; (4) organisational factors: structure, composition, time, shared vision, leadership and administrative support; and (5) external factors: education, culture, hierarchy, domain thinking, law and regulations, finance, technology and ICT. Conclusions: Improving interprofessional collaboration regarding care plan development calls for an integral approach including patient-and professional related factors, interpersonal, organisational, and external factors. Further, the leader of the team seems to play a key role in watching the patient perspective, organising and coordinating interprofessional collaborations, and guiding the team through developments. The results of this study can be used as input for developing tools and interventions targeted at executing and improving interprofessional collaboration related to care plan development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalBMC Family Practice
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2016


  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • Multidisciplinary teamwork
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Cooperative behaviour
  • Health care team
  • Primary health care
  • Qualitative research
  • Focus groups

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