National Institute of Health Research

HS&DR - 08/1819/214: The Impact of Enhancing the Effectiveness of Interdisciplinary Working

Project title The Impact of Enhancing the Effectiveness of Interdisciplinary Working
Research type Primary Research
Status Project complete
Start date April 2008
Publication date

August 2012

Cost £ 326,739.74
Chief Investigator Professor Pamela Enderby
Co-investigators Emeritus Professor Ronald Akehurst (University of Sheffield), Dr Andrew Booth (University of Sheffield), Professor Michael Campbell (University of Sheffield), Dr Lorraine Ellis (University of Sheffield), Dr Anna Moran (Charles Sturt University), Professor Susan Nancarrow (Southern Cross University), Professor Stuart Parker (University of Newcastle upon Tyne), Mr Tony Smith (University of Sheffield)
Contractor University of Sheffield
Plain English summary Working together in teams is suggested to be the most effective way of caring for older people in the community. However, there is little information on the best way of organising these teams, or how team working impacts on the health, quality or costs of this care. We propose to identify the key features of good team working by undertaking further analysis of data collected in a previous study funded by the SDO, and by reviewing the literature published on this topic. The findings will be used to develop an Interprofessional Management Tool (IMT). The IMT will be used by teams to assess their strengths and weaknesses around team working in order to improve their service. We will involve staff and services in the development of the IMT to ensure that it is user-friendly and meets their needs. Central to this project is our desire to demonstrate effective and practical ways of helping teams introduce changes to their ways of working. We will do this by incorporating knowledge from other studies that have looked at the best ways of introducing change to working practices. We will test the effectiveness of the IMT by working closely with 10 community-based teams who will implement the IMT. We will monitor the approach to team working in these teams over 15 months and assess changes in health outcomes of patients, staff satisfaction, and costs.
Scientific summary Research Aim: The aim of this study is to develop, implement and evaluate the cost and clinical impact of an Interprofessional Management Tool designed to optimise interprofessional working in community based older peoples' services. Type and location: The setting for this research is older peoples' community based intermediate care and rehabilitation provision, which will include health and social services across England. Specifically, the research will take place in non-acute, time limited services that are designed to increase the independence of older people as well as supporting people with long term conditions. Methods of working: This research uses a mixed methods design which draws on secondary analyses of existing data, published literature and consultation with stakeholders to underpin the development and clinical evaluation of an Interprofessional Management Tool' (IMT). The IMT will be developed, implemented and evaluated within an action research framework. The IMT will embrace the principles of change management and will use existing workforce change tools as the vehicle for its implementation. The research builds on SDO workforce project (SDO/95/2005), which examines the impact of workforce flexibility on the costs and outcomes of older peoples' services and will involve the following 4 stages; 1. Secondary analyses of existing data from SDO/95/2005 to develop a model of the relationship between interprofessional models of working and outcomes (patient outcomes, staff outcomes and costs); 2. A systematic review of the literature on interprofessional working and workforce change tools; 3. Development of an Interprofessional Management Tool based on the findings from (1) and (2) above, and in consultation with key stakeholders. 4. Implementation and evaluation of the IMT with 10 teams to examine the impact on patient care, health outcomes, staff satisfaction and costs of implementing improved team working. Research outcomes: The research is structured around the delivery and dissemination of three key outputs: 1. A psychometrically robust and validated Interprofessional Management Tool; 2. A report including explicit data relating to the impact of good team working on clinical outcomes, staff satisfaction and costs; 3. The final research evaluation report, which will incorporate a tried and tested method of implementing changes required to effect good team working.
  1. Qualitative evaluation of the implementation of the Interdisciplinary Management Tool: A reflective tool to enhance interdisciplinary team work using Structured Facilitated Action Research for Implementation (SaFARI)

    Authors: Nancarrow S, Enderby P

    Reference: Health and Social Care in the Community 2014;DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12173

  2. The ten principles of good interdisciplinary team practice.

    Authors: Nancarrow SA, Booth A, Ariss S, Smith T, Enderby, Roots A.

    Reference: Human Resources for Health 2013;11:19


Appendix 1 (PDF File - 2.4 MB)

Appendix 2 (PDF File - 1.4 MB)

Commissioning Brief (PDF File - 94.5 KB)

Final Report (PDF File - 2.4 MB)

Executive Summary (PDF File - 132.6 KB)

Addendum This project was commissioned by the NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation (NIHR SDO) programme under the management of the National Coordinating Centre for the Service Delivery and Organisation (NCCSDO) which was based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). The project was managed by NCCSDO until 31 March 2009. Management of the NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) programme and its portfolio of projects transferred to the National Institute for Health Research Evaluations, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) based at the University of Southampton from 1 April 2009.


We'd like your views

Help us improve your experience of our website by participating in a short survey.

Website survey

NIHR Journals Library

Join mailing list

To receive funding alerts and other programme news, please join our mailing list.

Sign up

NIHR on Twitter

Make a research suggestion

Complete our online web form to make a research suggestion to our programmes.

Research suggestion?

Sign in to MIS

Login to the NETSCC Management Information System (MIS).


Share this page