Challenges in interdisciplinary collaboration in community health care – a focus group study and usefulness

Scientific article in Fysioterapeuten 9/2014.


Siri Moe, fysioterapeut, dr.philos, førsteamanu-ensis, Institutt for helse- og omsorgsfag, UiT Norges arktiske universitet.

Torunn Hamran, sosiolog, professor, Institutt for helse- og omsorgsfag, UiT Norges arktiske universitet.


Background: Due to health policy reform the community health care system faces new demands regarding interdisciplinary cooperation, active care and self-reliance.  The aim of this study was to explore how physiotherapists and home care professionals look upon their responsibilities and their tasks related to the physical functioning of the users of home care services.

Methods: Twenty-two professional health care workers attended seven focus group interviews regarding professional practice, cooperation and organization of services.

Results: Interdisciplinary work was restrained both by professional traditions and the organizing of community health care services. Identification of rehabilitation requirements of users of home care services were found wanting. Meeting points for professional discussions and transference of knowledge were random and depended upon individuals. The home care professionals lacked competence in activating care.

Conclusions: The community health care services towards home care users were not in line with public policy recommendations and appeared to a large extent as arbitrary and uncoordinated. The findings emphasize the need to identify the home care users’ potential of physical functioning and to develop a systematic interdisciplinary cooperation between physiotherapists and other health care professionals to increase the focus upon physical functioning and to improve the quality of services.

Keywords: Physiotherapy, mobilization, professional practice, interdisciplinary work, organizing, home care services.

Full article in Norwegian