Apolonia is a research assistant with the University College Dublin School of Midwifery, Nursing and Health Systems. Apolonia is working as part of the ECLECTIC Project funded by the Health Research Board. The project is a realist evaluation exploring what works, for whom and why when fostering interprofessional collaboration within the newly established community specialist ambulatory teams for older people in Ireland. Apolonia’s interests include implementation science and the translation of evidence into policy and practice. Apolonia has a BA degree in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin.
The National Clinical Programme for Older Persons Service Model1 describes comprehensive service delivery supported by interdisciplinary teams transitioning care for older people along end-to-end integrated care pathways. Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC) is core to the implementation of this service model. However, there is an evidence gap in understanding what works to support IPC in this context. Furthermore, little is known about the staff outcomes that may be associated with these new ways of working for Medicine, Nursing and Health and Social Professionals (HSCPs) employed in interprofessional teams.
This study describes the generative mechanisms and staff outcomes that may be associated with IPC among professionals employed in the 30 newly established community specialist teams for older persons (CST-OPs). This local stakeholder knowledge supports an ongoing realist review of international evidence generating initial programme theory (IPTs) on what works and why to support IPC in community-based care integration for older people.
A cross-sectional representative survey of members (N=69 ) employed in the 30 CST-OPs was undertaken. The survey measured indicators of competence identified in a co-designed ECLECTIC framework for core competencies for IPC in interdisciplinary care teams for older persons.2 These included generative mechanisms such as internal team processes and systems, as well as values and beliefs supporting collaboration.
The findings describe the generative mechanisms associated with IPC and outcome factors for staff including higher job satisfaction, work engagement, trust and psychological safety. Findings elaborate on instances of service innovation which resulted from IPC.
The findings support the development of IPTs hypothesising the dynamic relationship between context, mechanisms and staff outcomes associated with team collaboration. These IPTs will be tested, refined and expanded through a planned realist implementation evaluation of the co-designed ECLECTIC framework among CST-OPs. This realist evidence will support implementation of the Older Person’s Service Model.