"They Are Talking About Me, but Not with Me": A Focus Group Study to Explore the Patient Perspective on Interprofessional Team Meetings in Primary Care

Jerome Jean Jacques van Dongen*, Maarten de Wit, Hester Wilhelmina Henrica Smeets, Esther Stoffers, Marloes Amantia van Bokhoven, Ramon Daniels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Web of Science)


Background The number of people with multiple chronic conditions receiving primary care services is growing. To deal with their increasingly complex health care demands, professionals from different disciplines need to collaborate. Interprofessional team (IPT) meetings are becoming more popular. Several studies describe important factors related to conducting IPT meetings, mostly from a professional perspective. However, in the light of patient-centeredness, it is valuable to also explore the patients' perspective.

Objective The aim was to explore the patients' perspectives regarding IPT meetings in primary care.

Methods A qualitative study with a focus group design was conducted in the Netherlands. Two focus group meetings took place, for which the same patients were invited. The participants, chronically ill patients with experience on interprofessional collaboration, were recruited through the regional patient association. Participants discussed viewpoints, expectations, and concerns regarding IPT meetings in two rounds, using a focus group protocol and selected video-taped vignettes of team meetings. The first meeting focused on conceptualization and identification of themes related to IPT meetings that are important to patients. The second meeting aimed to gain more in-depth knowledge and understanding of the priorities. Discussions were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim, and analyzed by means of content analysis.

Results The focus group meetings included seven patients. Findings were divided into six key categories, capturing the factors that patients found important regarding IPT meetings: (1) putting the patient at the center, (2) opportunities for patients to participate, (3) appropriate team composition, (4) structured approach, (5) respectful communication, and (6) informing the patient about meeting outcomes.

Conclusions Patients identified different elements regarding IPT meetings that are important from their perspective. They emphasized the right of patients or their representatives to take part in IPT meetings. Results of this study can be used to develop tools and programs to improve interprofessional collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
JournalThe Patient: patient-centered outcomes research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017



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