A Conceptual Model for Interdisciplinary Healthcare Team Development and Survival
This paper was originally published in the Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Interdisciplinary Health Team Care Conference, which took place September 26-28, 1985 in Chicago, Illinois. It is reproduced here with the permission of the authors.
Because of the complexity of an Interdisciplinary Health Care Team's internal and external environment, the framework which captures it must be multidimensional. It must allow for the pragmatic nature of the organization which houses the team and recognize the rapidly changing intra- and inter-organizational environment. It must encompass both the internal relationships and external factors affecting dynamics of the team. It should define the entity of interdisciplinary, address the developmental phases of interdisciplinary team function, and view teams as organisms which have the potential to survive over time. Finally, it should allow for the effects of environmental influences on the team, experienced as both positive and negative stress.
The idea for development of a conceptual model for IDHTs occurred as a result of observing a large interprofessional IDHT over a period of nine years. The team developed and progressed through many stages, encountered internal and external conflicts, and dealt with almost constant changes in personnel. The team has survived and continues to develop and function in an interdisciplinary manner. This team has been the working model from which the conceptual model proposed in this paper emerged.