Interprofessional collaboration within integrative healthcare clinics through the lens of the relationship-centered care model

J Interprof Care. 2011 Mar;25(2):124-30. doi: 10.3109/13561820.2010.523654. Epub 2010 Dec 23.


Teamwork is a contemporary way to try to improve the healthcare system, not only for the patients but also for the practitioners involved. A new type of interprofessional working arrangement, integrative healthcare (IHC) clinics, has emerged in the last two decades. The literature on interprofessional collaboration is steadily increasing, but little is known about the collaborative organization of the biomedical and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners that make up the teams in these clinics. The relationship-centered care model was used to guide an exploration of the interprofessional teamwork within a Canadian IHC setting. A sample of 31 IHC clinics and 228 biomedical and CAM practitioners were included. Eighty-nine questionnaires were returned from 25 clinics, representing a 62% practitioner response rate (within clinic responders). This study established that within the analytical model, practitioners behaviors and skills are the main factors associated with job satisfaction and inter-practitioner conflicts in interprofessional IHC practice. The results of the study also suggested the importance of interprofessional exposure for healthcare practitioners who are being expected to serve a clientele that is increasingly interested in being both cured and healed by the integration of biomedical and CAM paradigms and approaches.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Male
  • Models, Organizational
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / standards
  • Workforce