Profiling mental health professionals in relation to perceived interprofessional collaboration on teams

SAGE Open Med. 2019 Mar 29;7:2050312119841467. doi: 10.1177/2050312119841467. eCollection 2019.


Objectives: This study aims at identifying profiles of mental health professionals based on individual, interactional, structural and professional role characteristics related to interprofessional collaboration.

Methods: Mental health professionals (N = 315) working in primary health care and specialized mental health teams in four Quebec local service networks completed a self-administered questionnaire eliciting information on individual, interactional, structural and professional role characteristics.

Results: Cluster analysis identified four profiles of mental health professionals. Those with the highest interprofessional collaboration scores comprised two profiles labeled "highly collaborative female professionals with fewer conflicts and more knowledge sharing and integration" and "highly collaborative male professionals with fewer conflicts, more participation in decision-making and mutual trust." By contrast, the profile labeled "slightly collaborative professionals with high seniority, many conflicts and less knowledge integration and mutual trust" had the lowest interprofessional collaboration score. Another profile positioned between these groups was identified as "moderately collaborative female psychosocial professionals with less participation in decision-making."

Discussion and conclusion: Organizational support, participation in decision-making, knowledge sharing, knowledge integration, mutual trust, affective commitment toward the team, professional diversity and belief in the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration were features associated with profiles where perceived interprofessional collaboration was higher. These team qualities should be strongly encouraged by mental health managers for improving interprofessional collaboration. Training is also needed to promote improvement in interprofessional collaboration competencies.

Keywords: Interprofessional collaboration; cluster analysis; mental health professional; mental health teams.