An analysis of inter-professional collaboration in osteoporosis screening at a primary care level using the D'Amour model

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Abstract

Objectives:

This study describes the perspective of patients, nurses, pharmacists, doctors and policy makers to identify the level of collaboration and the areas for improvement to achieve inter-professional collaboration between doctors, nurses, pharmacists and policy makers in a primary care clinic.

Methods:

Patients (n = 20), Nurses (n = 10), pharmacists (n = 11), doctors (n = 10) and policy makers (n = 5) from a primary care were individually interviewed using a semi-structured topic guide. Purposive sampling was used. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis informed by constant comparison.

Results:

Patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and policy makers were eager for pharmacists to be more proactive in creating health awareness and conducting osteoporosis screening at the primary care clinic via inter-professional collaboration. These findings were further examined using the D'Amour's structural model of collaboration which encompasses four main themes: shared goals and visions, internalization, formalization and governance. This model supports our data which highlights a lack of understanding of the pharmacists' role among the doctors, nurses, policy makers and pharmacists themselves. There is also a lack of governance and formalization, that fosters consensus, leadership, protocol and information exchange. Nonetheless, the stakeholders trust that pharmacists have sufficient knowledge to contribute to the screening of osteoporosis. Our primary care clinic can be described as developing towards an inter-professional collaboration in managing osteoporosis but is still in its early stages.

Conclusions:

Inter-professional collaboration in osteoporosis management at the primary care level is beginning to be practised. Efforts extending to awareness and acceptance towards the pharmacists' role will be crucial for a successful change.

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