Background: There is only limited evidence to support care redefinition and role optimization processes needed for scaling up of a stronger primary care capacity.
Methods: Data collection was based on a keyword search in MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases. Three thousand, two hundred and twenty-nine documents were identified, 1851 met our inclusion criteria, 71 were retained for full-text assessment and 52 included in the final selection. The analysis process was done in four steps. In the end, the elements that were identified as particularly central to the process of transforming primary care provision were used as the basis of two typologies.
Results: The first typology is based on two structural dimensions that characterize promising multiprofessional primary care teams. The first is the degree to which the division of tasks in the team was formalized. The second dimension is the centrality and autonomy of nurses in the care model. The second typology offers a refined definition of comprehensiveness of care and its relationship with the optimization of professional roles.
Conclusions: The literature we analyzed suggests there are several plausible avenues for coherently articulating the relationships between patients, professionals, and care pathways. The expertise, preferences, and numbers of available human resources will determine the plausibility that a model will be a coherent response that is appropriate to the needs and environmental constraints (funding models, insurance, etc.). The typologies developed can help assess existing care models analytically or evaluatively and to propose, prospectively, some optimal operational parameters for primary care provision.
Keywords: Comprehensive health care; Health services research; Nursing care; Primary health care.