Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 key informants until saturation was obtained in the key emerging themes. All interviews were audiorecorded, and the transcripts were coded using qualitative content analysis.
Results: Most participants differentiated collaboration from integration. They generally described a model of professions working closely together (ie, collaborating) in the delivery of care but not subsumed into a single organizational framework (ie, integration). Our results suggest that integration requires collaboration as a precondition but collaboration does not require integration.
Conclusions: Collaboration and integration should not be used interchangeably. A critical starting point for any new interdisciplinary team is to articulate the goals of the model of care.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; click on the above link for free full text. PMID 20004798