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Users’ and Providers’ Perceptions about Integrated Health Care in Southern Denmark


  • Fadumo Noor

    (Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Degnevej 14, 6705 Esbjerg, Denmark)

  • Gabriel Gulis

    (Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Degnevej 14, 6705 Esbjerg, Denmark)

  • Leena Eklund Karlsson

    (Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Degnevej 14, 6705 Esbjerg, Denmark)


Health care systems are increasingly complex, and evidence shows poor coordination of care within and between providers, as well as at the interface between different levels of care. The purpose of this study is to explore users’ and providers’ (stakeholders’) perspectives of integrated care in Denmark. We conducted qualitative interviews with 19 providers and 18 users that were analysed through inductive content analysis. Providers’ and stakeholders’ perceived deficits in system-level factors, lack of organizational culture, weaknesses in communication, a need for a shift towards considering equity in access to health services and focus on person-centeredness. Fundamental changes suggested by participants were better sharing of information and knowledge, focus on stronger trust building, efforts in making communication more effective, and changes in incentive structure. Users perceived poor navigation in the health care system, frustration when they experienced that the services were not based on their needs and lack of support for improving their health literacy. The study showed health care weaknesses in improving user involvement in decision-making, enhancing the user–provider relationship, coordination, and access to services. Public health within integrated care requires policies and management practices that promote system awareness, relationship-building and information-sharing and provides incentive structures that support integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Fadumo Noor & Gabriel Gulis & Leena Eklund Karlsson, 2022. "Users’ and Providers’ Perceptions about Integrated Health Care in Southern Denmark," Societies, MDPI, vol. 12(5), pages 1-19, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:12:y:2022:i:5:p:124-:d:910739

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Øvretveit, 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. Struckmann, Verena & Leijten, Fenna R.M. & van Ginneken, Ewout & Kraus, Markus & Reiss, Miriam & Spranger, Anne & Boland, Melinde R.S. & Czypionka, Thomas & Busse, Reinhard & Rutten-van Mölken, Mauree, 2018. "Relevant models and elements of integrated care for multi-morbidity: Results of a scoping review," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 23-35.
    3. Aine Carroll, 2021. "Integrated Care Through the Lens of a Complex Adaptive System," Springer Books, in: Volker Amelung & Viktoria Stein & Esther Suter & Nicholas Goodwin & Ellen Nolte & Ran Balicer (ed.), Handbook Integrated Care, edition 2, chapter 0, pages 595-609, Springer.
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