Health Care Team = ? = Health Care Team
This paper was originally published in the Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Interdisciplinary Health Team Care Conference, which took place September 17-18, 1992 in Chicago, Illinois. It is reproduced here with the permission of the authors.
The word "interdisciplinary" is frequently attached to the term "health care team." However, there is uncertainty as to the common understanding of these terms when they are used together. Based on a cross-sectional review of the geriatrics literature from 1982, 1986, and 1990, we conclude that, in the geriatrics literature, the word team was used freely without definition and with many assumptions. The terms "multidisciplinary" and "interdisciplinary" were frequently used as descriptors with little distinction between terms. There was a trend to perform outcome studies based on team as independent variable with no description of criteria or conceptualization. Results of the study from the geriatrics literature raised the question of how the health team literature depicted teams.
Methods: We received the proceedings from the Interdisciplinary Health Care Team (IHCT) Conferences for the years 1981-1991 (2-11) to tally the numbers of papers presented in each of those years. We were interested in the characteristics that writers assigned to "team". The authors jointly established criteria for review of the papers from the years 1982 (3), 1986 (7), and 1990 (11) as those years corresponded with our review of the geriatrics literature. Proceedings from the year 1984 (5) were also available and were included in the review. The established criteria allowed us to categorize and compare information in the papers and to compare the purpose of a paper with a paper's portrayal of the team. The review of the papers was a shared task and disagreements were jointly resolved.