The effect of team collaboration and continuity of care on health and disability among rehabilitation patients: a longitudinal survey-based study from western Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate how changes in patient-rated health and disability from baseline to after rehabilitation were associated with communication and relationships in rehabilitation teams and patient-rated continuity of care. Methods: Linear models were used to assess the associations between relational coordination [RC] and Nijmegen Continuity Questionnaire-Norwegian version [NCQ-N] with changes in the World Health Association Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 [WHODAS 2.0] and EuroQol EQ-VAS [EQ-VAS]. To express change in WHODAS 2.0 and EQ-VAS, the model was adjusted for WHODAS 2.0 and EQ-VAS baseline scores. Analyses for possible slopes for the various diagnosis groups were performed. Results: A sample of 701 patients were included in the patient cohort, followed from before rehabilitation to 1 year after a rehabilitation stay involving treatment by 15 different interprofessional teams. The analyses revealed associations between continuity of care and changes in patient-rated health, measured with EQ-VAS (all p values < 0.01). RC communication was associated with more improvement in functioning in neoplasms patient group, compared to improvement of health among included patient groups. The results revealed no associations between NCQ-N and WHODAS 2.0 global score, or between RC in the rehabilitation teams treating the patients and changes in WHODAS 2.0 global score. Conclusion: The current results revealed that better personal, team and cross-boundary continuity of rehabilitation care was associated with better patient health after rehabilitation at 1-year follow-up. Measures of patient experiences with different types of continuity of care may provide a promising indicator of the quality of rehabilitation care.