Background and Objectives:
People have multi-faceted health care needs and consult a diverse range of health care practitioners (HCP) from both the conventional and complementary medicine healthcare sectors. The effective communication between HCP and with patients are obvious requisites to coordinating multidisciplinary care and shared decision making. Further, miscommunication is a leading cause of patient harm and is associated with reduced patient satisfaction, health literacy, treatment compliance and quality of life. In conventional healthcare settings, the differences in professional hierarchy, training, communication styles and culture are recognised communication barriers. Less is known about interprofessional communication (IPC) that includes traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) HCP. This review aims to summarise the experiences and perceptions of conventional and complementary HCP and identify factors that influence IPC. Methods:
A qualitative rapid literature review was conducted. Six databases were searched to identify original research and systematic reviews published since 2009 and in English. Excluded were articles reporting original research outside of Australia that did not include TCM-HCP, already cited in a systematic review, or of low quality with a score of less than three on a critical appraisal skills programme (CASP) checklist. A thematic analysis of included studies was used to identify and explore important and recurring themes. Results:
From the conducted searches, 18 articles were included, 11 of which reported data on complementary HCP and seven were literature reviews. Four key themes were identified that impact IPC: medical dominance, clarity of HCP roles, a shared vision, and education and training. Conclusion:
IPC within and between conventional and complementary HCP is impacted by interrelated factors. A diverse range of initiatives that facilitate interprofessional learning and collaboration are required to facilitate IPC and help overcome medical dominance and interprofessional cultural divides.
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