The aim of this paper is to examine Canadian key informants’ perceptions of intrapersonal (within an individual) and interpersonal (among individuals) factors that influence successful primary care and public health collaboration.
Primary health care systems can be strengthened by building stronger collaborations between primary care and public health. Although there is literature that explores interpersonal factors that can influence successful inter-organizational collaborations, a few of them have specifically explored primary care and public health collaboration. Furthermore, no papers were found that considered factors at the intrapersonal level. This paper aims to explore these gaps in a Canadian context.
This interpretative descriptive study involved key informants (service providers, managers, directors, and policy makers) who participated in one h telephone interviews to explore their perceptions of influences on successful primary care and public health collaboration. Transcripts were analyzed using NVivo 9.
A total of 74 participants [from the provinces of British Columbia (
n=20); Ontario ( n=19); Nova Scotia ( n=21), and representatives from other provinces or national organizations ( n=14)] participated. Five interpersonal factors were found that influenced public health and primary care collaborations including: (1) trusting and inclusive relationships; (2) shared values, beliefs and attitudes; (3) role clarity; (4) effective communication; and (5) decision processes. There were two influencing factors found at the intrapersonal level: (1) personal qualities, skills and knowledge; and (2) personal values, beliefs, and attitudes. A few differences were found across the three core provinces involved. There were several complex interactions identified among all inter and intra personal influencing factors: One key factor – effective communication – interacted with all of them. Results support and extend our understanding of what influences successful primary care and public health collaboration at these levels and are important considerations in building and sustaining primary care and public health collaborations.