Towards a taxonomy for integrated care: a mixed-methods study

P.P. Valentijn*, I.C. Boesveld, D.M. van der Klauw, D. Ruwaard, J.N. Struijs, J.J.W. Molema, M.A. Bruijnzeels, H.J.M. Vrijhoef

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Building integrated services in a primary care setting is considered an essential important strategy for establishing a high-quality and affordable health care system. The theoretical foundations of such integrated service models are described by the Rainbow Model of Integrated Care, which distinguishes six integration dimensions (clinical, professional, organisational, system, functional and normative integration). The aim of the present study is to refine the Rainbow Model of Integrated Care by developing a taxonomy that specifies the underlying key features of the six dimensions.First, a literature review was conducted to identify features for achieving integrated service delivery. Second, a thematic analysis method was used to develop a taxonomy of key features organised into the dimensions of the Rainbow Model of Integrated Care. Finally, the appropriateness of the key features was tested in a Delphi study among Dutch experts.The taxonomy consists of 59 key features distributed across the six integration dimensions of the Rainbow Model of Integrated Care. Key features associated with the clinical, professional, organisational and normative dimensions were considered appropriate by the experts. Key features linked to the functional and system dimensions were considered less appropriate.This study contributes to the ongoing debate of defining the concept and typology of integrated care. This taxonomy provides a development agenda for establishing an accepted scientific framework of integrated care from an end-user, professional, managerial and policy perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere003
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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