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Perspectives of Healthcare Professionals Toward Interprofessional Collaboration in Primary Care Settings in a Middle Eastern Country

Authors El-Awaisi A, Awaisu A, Aboelbaha S, Abedini Z, Johnson J, Al-Abdulla SA

Received 15 October 2020

Accepted for publication 16 December 2020

Published 16 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 363—379


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Alla El-Awaisi,1 Ahmed Awaisu,1 Shimaa Aboelbaha,1 Zeinab Abedini,1 Jessie Johnson,2 Samya Ahmad Al-Abdulla3

1Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice, College of Pharmacy, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar; 2Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary Qatar, Doha, Qatar; 3Department of Clinical Operations, Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence: Alla El-Awaisi
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice, College of Pharmacy, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Background: Primary healthcare (PHC) setting is regarded as a central pillar to the healthcare system as it tends to be the first point of contact for patients. Interprofessional collaboration between healthcare professionals (HCP) in PHC settings remains unexplored in the Middle East.
Aim: The objective of this study was to explore the perspectives of HCP in PHC centers towards interprofessional collaboration and to identify the facilitators and the barriers to collaborative practice.
Methods: A cross-sectional, web- and paper-based survey involving HCP in PHC centers was conducted in Qatar. Descriptive statistics as well as Student’s t-test and One Way ANOVA test were performed to determine statistical differences in Readiness for Interprofessional Learning (RIPLs) scores between demographic groups.
Results: Overall, 1415 participants out of a potential 2500 HCP practicing in Qatar completed the survey (response rate, 56.6%). HCP generally indicated a positive attitude and readiness towards interprofessional collaboration. Furthermore, physicians had slightly more positive readiness towards understanding their professional identity than other healthcare professionals. Participants with previous interprofessional collaboration or interprofessional education experiences exhibited greater, but non-significant positive attitudes toward interprofessional collaboration compared to those without previous experiences. Identified barriers and facilitators included are conceptual rather than structural. Facilitating factors included HCP readiness and perceived benefit of interprofessional collaboration effectiveness in the work setting, increased professional satisfaction, respect between healthcare professions, appreciation of others’ contribution, leadership, and institutional support. Top perceived barriers included leadership and support, time commitment, and resources constraints.
Conclusion: HCP in PHC settings have demonstrated the willingness and readiness to engage in interprofessional collaboration. Recent reforms within the PHC setting consist of promoting interprofessional teams and collaborative culture. However, it is imperative to provide training and education to foster and support interprofessional collaborative practices.

Keywords: interprofessional collaboration, primary health care, healthcare professionals

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