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Working towards integrated community care for older people: Empowering organisational features from a professional perspective


  • Janssen, Bienke M.
  • Snoeren, Miranda W.C.
  • Van Regenmortel, Tine
  • Abma, Tineke A.


Although multi-disciplinary cooperation between professionals is a prerequisite to provide integrated care in the community, this seems hard to realise in practice. Yet, little is known about the experiences of professionals who implement it nor about the organisational features professionals identify as empowering during this cooperation process. Therefore, a case study of a multi-disciplinary geriatric team was performed. The data-collection included observations of meetings, in-depth interviews and focus groups with professionals (N=12). Data were analysed inductively and related to the three organisational levels within the model of organisational empowerment of Peterson and Zimmerman. Signs of empowering organisational features on the intraorganisational level were mutual trust and clear working routines. On the interorganisational level important features included improved linkages between participating organisations and increased insight into each other's tasks. Tensions occurred relating to the inter- and the extraorganisational level. Professionals felt that the commitment of the management of involved organisations should be improved just as the capacity of the team to influence (local) policy. It is recommended that policymakers should not determine the nature of professional cooperation in advance, but to leave that to the local context as well as to the judgement of involved professionals.

Suggested Citation

  • Janssen, Bienke M. & Snoeren, Miranda W.C. & Van Regenmortel, Tine & Abma, Tineke A., 2015. "Working towards integrated community care for older people: Empowering organisational features from a professional perspective," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:119:y:2015:i:1:p:1-8
    DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2014.09.016

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. √ėvretveit, John & Hansson, Johan & Brommels, Mats, 2010. "An integrated health and social care organisation in Sweden: Creation and structure of a unique local public health and social care system," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(2-3), pages 113-121, October.
    2. van Bilsen, P.M.A. & Hamers, J.P.H. & Groot, W. & Spreeuwenberg, C., 2008. "The use of community-based social services by elderly people at risk of institutionalization: An evaluation," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 285-295, September.
    3. Glendinning, Caroline, 2003. "Breaking down barriers: integrating health and care services for older people in England," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 139-151, August.
    4. Meijboom, Bert & de Haan, Job & Verheyen, Piet, 2004. "Networks for integrated care provision: an economic approach based on opportunism and trust," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 33-43, July.
    5. Segal, Leonie, 1998. "The importance of patient empowerment in health system reform," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 31-44, April.
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