Differing Professional Perspectives on the Interprofessional Collaboration in IPUs: A Mixed-methods Study

Dorine J. Van Staalduinen*, Petra E.A. Van Den Bekerom, Sandra M. Groeneveld, Arie Franx, Anne M. Stiggelbout, M. Elske Van Den Akker-Van Marle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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An important aspect of Value-Based Healthcare (VBHC) is providing the full cycle of care for a specific medical condition through interprofessional collaboration. This requires employees from diverse professional backgrounds to interact, but there is limited knowledge on how professionals perceive such interprofessional collaboration. We aimed to provide insight into how different professionals perceive Integrated Practice Unit (IPU) composition and what factors influence the quality of interprofessional collaboration within IPUs. 


A survey was administered to employees from different professional backgrounds (medical specialists, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative employees) working in IPUs to assess their perception of the composition of their IPU and the quality of the interactions. Subsequently, semi-structured interviews were conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the findings of the survey. 


Medical specialists and nurses were most frequently considered to be part of an IPU and indicated that they have high quality interactions. Allied health professionals were less often considered part of the team by all other professional groups and all report low quality interaction with this group. The extent to which a professional group is perceived as a team member depends on their visibility, involvement in the treatment of the patient, and shared interest. Differences in the quality of interprofessional collaboration are influenced by organizational structures, knowledge of each other’s expertise, and by ways of communication.


In VBHC, there seems to be a lack of common perception of an IPU’s composition and a failure to always achieve high quality interprofessional collaboration. Given the importance of interprofessional collaboration in VBHC, effort should be invested in achieving a shared understanding and improved collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalInternational Journal of Integrated Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is funded through the LUMC 2.0. project at the Leiden University Medical Center. The funding body did not participate in the design of the study and collection, analysis and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s).


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