WHO Human Resources for Health Observer #13: Interprofessional Collaborative Practice in Primary Health Care
There is increasing interest in the ability of health-care professionals to work together, and in understanding how such collaborative practice contributes to primary health care (PHC). Interprofessional education drives the need to identify and establish enabling mechanisms for collaborative practice in PHC. This study examines six PHC practice settings from both resource-constrained and resource-rich countries in order to identify not only the enabling mechanisms that facilitate collaborative practice to support PHC, but also barriers to such practice. The World Health Organization’s Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice was used to examine the mechanisms that shape interprofessional education, collaborative practice, and health and education systems. Findings are consistent with the growing body of literature on enabling mechanisms for and barriers to interprofessional education and collaborative practice. The study concludes with a discussion of policy and practice implications and recommendations for future research. Based on this work, it is clear that inteprofessional education and collaborative practice are closely interrelated.