To identify facilitators and barriers influencing collaboration and teamwork between general practitioners and nurses working in general (family) practice.
Internationally, a shortage of doctors entering and remaining in general practice and an increasing burden of chronic disease has diversified the nurse's role in this setting. Despite a well-established general practice nursing workforce, little attention has been paid to the ways doctors and nurses collaborate in this setting.
Integrative literature review.
CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Life, Cochrane Library, Joanna Briggs Institute Library of Systematic Reviews and Trove (dissertation and theses) were searched for papers published between 2000 and May 2014.
This review was informed by the approach of Whittemore and Knafl (2005). All included papers were assessed for methodological quality. Findings were extracted, critically examined and grouped into themes.
Eleven papers met the inclusion criteria. Thematic analysis revealed three themes common to the facilitators of and barriers to collaboration and teamwork between GPs in general practice: (1) roles and responsibilities; (2) respect, trust and communication; and (3) hierarchy, education and liability.
This integrative review has provided insight into issues around role definition, communication and organizational constraints which influence the way nurses and general practitioners collaborate in a team environment. Future research should investigate in more detail the ways doctors and nurses work together in general practice and the impact of collaboration on nursing leadership and staff retention.