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      Views and experiences of nurse practitioners and medical practitioners with collaborative practice in primary health care – an integrative review


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          This integrative review synthesises research studies that have investigated the perceptions of nurse practitioners and medical practitioners working in primary health care. The aggregation of evidence on barriers and facilitators to working collaboratively and experiences about the processes of collaboration is of value to understand success factors and factors that impede collaborative working relationships.


          An integrative review, which used systematic review processes, was undertaken to summarise qualitative and quantitative studies published between 1990 and 2012. Databases searched were the Cochrane Library, the Joanna Briggs Institute Library, PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, Informit and ProQuest. Studies that met the inclusion criteria were assessed for quality. Study findings were extracted relating to a) barriers and facilitators to collaborative working and b) views and experiences about the process of collaboration. The findings were narratively synthesised, supported by tabulation.


          27 studies conducted in seven different countries met the inclusion criteria. Content analysis identified a number of barriers and facilitators of collaboration between nurse practitioners and medical practitioners. By means of data comparison five themes were developed in relation to perceptions and understanding of collaboration. Nurse practitioners and medical practitioners have differing views on the essentials of collaboration and on supervision and autonomous nurse practitioner practice. Medical practitioners who have a working experience with NPs express more positive attitudes towards collaboration. Both professional groups report concerns and negative experiences with collaborative practice but also value certain advantages of collaboration.


          The review shows that working in collaboration is a slow progression. Exposure to working together helps to overcome professional hurdles, dispel concerns and provide clarity around roles and the meaning of collaboration of NPs and MPs. Guidelines on liability and better funding strategies are necessary to facilitate collaborative practice whether barriers lie in individual behaviours or in broader policies.

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          Most cited references 59

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          The determinants of successful collaboration: a review of theoretical and empirical studies.

          Successful collaboration in health care teams can be attributed to numerous elements, including processes at work in interpersonal relationships within the team (the interactional determinants), conditions within the organization (the organizational determinants), and the organization's environment (the systemic determinants). Through a review of the literature, this article presents a tabulated compilation of each of these determinant types as identified by empirical research and identifies the main characteristics of these determinants according to the conceptual work. We then present a "showcase" of recent Canadian policy initiatives--The Canadian Health Transition Fund (HTF)--to illustrate how the various categories of determinants can be mobilized. The literature review reveals that very little of the empirical work has dealt with determinants of interprofessional collaboration in health, particularly its organizational and systemic determinants. Furthermore, our overview of experience at the Canadian HTF suggests that a systemic approach should be adopted in evaluative research on the determinants of effective collaborative practice.
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            Synthesising qualitative and quantitative evidence: a review of possible methods.

            The limitations of traditional forms of systematic review in making optimal use of all forms of evidence are increasingly evident, especially for policy-makers and practitioners. There is an urgent need for robust ways of incorporating qualitative evidence into systematic reviews. In this paper we provide a brief overview and critique of a selection of strategies for synthesising qualitative and quantitative evidence, ranging from techniques that are largely qualitative and interpretive through to techniques that are largely quantitative and integrative. A range of methods is available for synthesising diverse forms of evidence. These include narrative summary, thematic analysis, grounded theory, meta-ethnography, meta-study, realist synthesis, Miles and Huberman's data analysis techniques, content analysis, case survey, qualitative comparative analysis and Bayesian meta-analysis. Methods vary in their strengths and weaknesses, ability to deal with qualitative and quantitative forms of evidence, and type of question for which they are most suitable. We identify a number of procedural, conceptual and theoretical issues that need to be addressed in moving forward with this area, and emphasise the need for existing techniques to be evaluated and modified, rather than inventing new approaches.
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              The development of advanced nursing practice globally.

              To examine the development of advanced nursing practice globally. Data were collected from documentary resources available in the International Nurse Practitioners/Advanced Practice Nurse Network (INP/APNN) of the International Council of Nurses. The areas examined were guided by the "key informant survey on advanced nursing practice self-administered questionnaire." Two core members of the INP/APNN who have rich experience in global advanced nursing development analyzed the data.A total of 14 countries and three regions from five continents were included in the analyses. The development of advanced nursing practice in these areas is facilitated by a need for better access to care in a cost-containment era and the enhancement of nursing education to postgraduate level. The mechanism for regulation of practice is in place in some countries. Confirms the development of advanced practice in nursing is a global trend. APNs can improve global health with points to enhanced education in nursing and regulation of advanced practice.

                Author and article information

                BMC Fam Pract
                BMC Fam Pract
                BMC Family Practice
                BioMed Central
                5 September 2013
                : 14
                : 132
                [1 ]Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia
                [2 ]Nursing Research Institute, Australian Catholic University and St Vincents and Mater Health, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, Australia
                [3 ]Faculty of Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Canberra, Australia
                Copyright © 2013 Schadewaldt et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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