Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Workforce Education and Development

First Advisor

Pense, Seburn


The purpose of this exploratory sequential mixed methods study was to explore organizational contextual factors important to successful interprofessional collaboration (IPC) among primary care teams. In Phase 1, a single embedded case study design was utilized to understand how primary care teams describe IPC, the organizational contextual factors identified as most important to successful IPC, and differences in context between teams. In Phase 2, a quantitative survey was administered to primary care team members at 10 organizations to objectively measure the relationship between contextual factors identified in Phase 1 and IPC. In Phase 1, primary care team members generally described IPC positively with notable challenges to consistently collaborating as a team. Teams varied in terms of their team structure, physical layout of the practice, and organizational hierarchy of the practice. Organizational contextual factors that were deemed most important included team structure and resources, including staff, time, and communication tools; supportive, patient-centered culture, including team member support and expectations for IPC as the way to provide the best care to patients; leadership, including organizational leadership support and provider leadership; and organizational structure and resources, including status as a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and academic facility. In Phase 2, a strong, positive relationship was found between IPC and team member support and provider leadership. A moderate, positive relationship was found between IPC and team resources, clan culture, and perceived organizational support. A weak, positive relationship was found between IPC and patient-centered values. No statistically significant relationship was found between IPC and status as a FQHC or presence of a physician residency program. The findings support the importance of organizational context for IPC and suggest that organizational culture and leadership hold particular importance for IPC success.




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