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Title: Patients as team members: opportunities, challenges and paradoxes of including patients in multi-professional healthcare teams
Authors: Martin, Graham P.
Finn, Rachael
First Published: 10-Jun-2011
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Citation: Sociology of Health and Illness, 2011, 33 (7), pp. 1050-1065
Abstract: Current healthcare policy emphasises the need for more collaborative, team-based approaches to providing care, and for a greater voice for service users in the management and delivery of care. Increasingly, policy encourages ‘partnerships’ between users and professionals so that users, too, effectively become team members. In examining this phenomenon, this paper draws on insights from the organisational-sociological literature on team work, which highlights the challenges of bringing together diverse professional groups, but which has not, to date, been applied in contexts where users, too, are included in teams. Using data from a qualitative study of five pilot cancer-genetics projects, in which service users were included in teams responsible for managing and developing new services, it highlights the difficulties involved in making teams of such heterogeneous members—and the paradoxes that arise when this task is achieved. It reveals how the tension between integration and specialisation of team members, highlighted in the literature on teams in general, is especially acute for service users, the distinctiveness of whose contribution is more fragile, and open to blurring.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01356.x
ISSN: 0141-9889
eISSN: 1467-9566
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2011 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2011 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Deposited with reference to the journal's Exclusive Licence Form, which permits posting of the accepted version, updated to include any amendments made after peer review, 12 months after publication.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

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