A literature review of interprofessional working and intermediate care in the UK

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Aims and objectives.This systematic literature review aimed at addressing two questions: first, what evidence exists regarding intermediate care in the UK; and what interventions have been used to develop interprofessional working in intermediate care in the UK? A systematic review of the literature from 2000-2006 resulted in a total of 104 full-text articles describing research into intermediate care in the UK.Background.The review was the first stage of a large, national project evaluating and developing interprofessional working among health and social care staff, particularly in relation to the intermediate care of older people.Design.Systematic literature review.Methods.All the literature was reviewed by one reviewer, and a second review was carried out by a team of reviewers to ensure each article was reviewed twice, independently. One article was reviewed by all the reviewers to ensure inter-rater reliability; finally, all the reviews were amalgamated, which resulted in one summary per article.Results.The main findings drawn from this systematic literature review are that research carried out on intermediate care in the UK has a diverse set of aims, for example economic evaluations, delivery of intermediate care and exploring the views and perceptions of those involved in intermediate care.Conclusions.Although several articles include discussions about the importance of interprofessional working in intermediate care, no article specifically focused on the interprofessional focus of intermediate care, and there was no research about interventions used to develop interprofessional working.Relevance to clinical practice.Intermediate care as a policy has been interpreted very differently across the four countries of the UK; there is no one preferred or consistent interpretation to its delivery.

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