Multidisciplinary communication in the Irish public health nursing service: a study

Br J Community Nurs. 2003 Dec;8(12):544-9. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2003.8.12.11850.


Public health nurses (PHNs) in the Republic of Ireland work as part of a multidisciplinary team in the delivery of community care services. Good interdisciplinary communication is therefore vital to enable them to offer the best possible care to their clients. This article reports on one section of a national survey of PHNs who work with families with infants. The findings suggest that although in general, PHNs reported good working relationships with other professionals - particularly with speech therapists, area medical officers and community welfare officers - the same could not be said for hearing and eye specialists. Feedback also varied according to professional groups, with less than one third of PHNs reporting they always received feedback from GPs, eye specialists or social workers. A significant statistical correlation was found between reported working relationships and the frequency that feedback was received. These findings have implications for communication and teamworking in primary care in the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Ireland
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Public Health Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Referral and Consultation / organization & administration