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Communication and Relational Ties in Inter-Professional Teams in Norwegian Specialized Health Care: A Multicentre Study of Relational Coordination


Communication and Relational Ties in Inter-Professional Teams in Norwegian Specialized Health Care: A Multicentre Study of Relational Coordination

Merethe Hustoft et al. Int J Integr Care.


Introduction: The delivery of integrated care depends on the quality of communication and relationships among health-care professionals in inter-professional teams. The main aim of this study was to investigate individual and team communication and relational ties of teams in specific care processes within specialized health care.

Methods: This cross-sectional multi-centre study used data from six somatic hospitals and six psychiatric units (N = 263 [response rate, 52%], 23 care processes) using a Norwegian version of the Relational Coordination Survey. We employed linear mixed-effect regression models and one-way analyses of variance.

Results: The mean (standard deviation) relational coordination total score ranged from 4.5 (0.33) to 2.7 (0.50). The communication and relationship sub-scale scores were significantly higher within similar functional groups than between contrasting functional groups (P < .05). Written clinical procedures were significantly associated with higher communication scores (P < .05). The proportion of women in a team was associated with higher communication and relationship scores (P < .05).

Conclusion: The Relational Coordination Survey shows a marked variation in team functions within inter-professional teams in specialized health-care settings. Further research is needed to determine the reasons for these variations.

Keywords: Relational Coordination; Teamwork; coordination; integrated care; multilevel analysis.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Relational Coordination Survey communication and relationship sub-scale scores within and between unique functional groups (N = 263).

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