The use of systems and organizational theories in the interprofessional field: Findings from a scoping review

Scott Reeves's picture
Submitted by Scott Reeves on May 22, 2014 - 2:07pm CDT

Resource Type: 
Journal Article

Authors have commented on the limited use of theory in the interprofessional field and its critical importance to advancing the work in this field. While social psychological and educational theories in the interprofessional field are increasingly popular, the contribution of organizational and systems theories is less well understood. This paper presents a subset of the findings (those focused on organizational/systems approaches) from a broader scoping review of theories in the organizational and educational literature aimed to guide interprofessional education and practice. A detailed search strategy was used to identify relevant theories. In total, we found 17 organizational and systems theories. Nine of the theories had been previously employed in the interprofessional field and eight had potential to do so. These theories focus on interactions between different components of organizations which can impact collaboration and practice change. Given the primarily educational focus of the current research, this paper offers new insight into theories to support the design and implementation of interprofessional education and practice within health care environments. The use of these theories would strengthen the growing evidence base for both interprofessional education and practice--a common need for its varied stakeholders.

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Esther Suter
Joanne Goldman
Tina Martimianakis
Carole Chatalalsingh
Dale J. Matteo
Scott Reeves