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Using real stories to capture informal carers’ perceptions of effective interprofessional working

Wright, Julie Margaret (2016) Using real stories to capture informal carers’ perceptions of effective interprofessional working. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The aim of the study is to capture informal carers’ perceptions of effective interprofessional working. The theoretical background of this research is founded in the existing knowledge base of interprofessional working and the experiences of informal carers in their role of caring. A naturalistic approach is used in this exploratory study which involves informal carers in the North of England. Stories are developed from two carers’ experiences. These stories are subsequently used in interviews with eleven other carers. The interviews are audio-recorded and transcripts are produced. Three subjective meanings of caring emerged from the analysis: ‘It’s all a battle’, ‘That’s how it is’ and ‘I know how it should be’. Three main themes were identified, namely individual attributes, shared philosophy of care and information communication. A synergistic relationship exists between these three themes. Implications from the findings are that professionals need to understand the realities of caring and actively listen to the patient and their families in order to communicate effectively with other professionals. Professionals need to be aware of the impact of their attitudes and behaviours on effective collaboration with other professionals. The routinisation of care, whilst being an important component of efficiency, can override decisions based on need. There needs to be an awareness of how some rules and routines, whether local or organisational, can prevent the achievement of successful care outcomes. There needs to be a cultural shift away from the notion of team to an increased focus on working with others to deliver effective care. To achieve the policy directive of providing person centred care, professionals need to be willing to open up their minds to others’ perspectives. This may require a change in mind set and a change in practice This study provides an alternative perspective of effective interprofessional working.

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