Collaboration: A critical exploration of the care continuum.

Authors: Penny RA, Windsor C


Nurs Inq. 2017 Apr;24(2):

The purpose of this research was to explore the concept of collaboration within a specific healthcare context and to include the perspectives of healthcare users, a position largely lacking in previous studies. In applying a critical theoretical approach, the focus was on, as an exemplar, mothers with newborn babies who had spent more than 48 hr in a special care nursery. Semistructured interviews were undertaken with child health nurses, midwives and mothers. The three key theoretical findings on collaboration generated in the study point to layers of meanings around identity, knowledge and institutions of care. Findings from the interview data analysis were further examined through the lens of key policy documents. The research outcomes indicate that the concept of collaboration serves an important function in healthcare in obscuring the complexities and ambiguities that characterise the care continuum. The study concludes the need for a more critical approach to the assumptions that underlie the language of collaboration and the implications for practice in healthcare.



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