Examining Interprofessional Teams Structures and Processes in the Implementation of Primary Care Intervention (Health TAPESTRY) for Older Adults using Normalization Process Theory

April 22, 2020

Available in BMC Family Practice, published April 15, 2020



Many countries are engaged in primary care reforms to support older adults who are living longer in the community. Health Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality [Health TAPESTRY] is a primary care intervention aimed at supporting older adults that involves trained volunteers, interprofessional teams, technology, and system navigation. This paper examines implementation of Health TAPESTRY in relation to interprofessional teamwork including volunteers.


This study applied Normalization Process Theory (NPT) and used a descriptive qualitative approach [1] embedded in a mixed-methods, pragmatic randomized controlled trial. It was situated in two primary care practice sites in a large urban setting in Ontario, Canada. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with primary care providers, clinical managers, administrative assistants, volunteers, and a volunteer coordinator. Data was collected at 4 months (June–July 2015) and 12 months (February–March 2016) after intervention start-up. Patients were interviewed at the end of the six-month intervention. Field notes were taken at weekly huddle meetings.


Overall, 84 participants were included in 17 focus groups and 13 interviews; 24 field notes were collected. Themes were organized under four NPT constructs of implementation: 1) Coherence- (making sense/understanding of the program’s purpose/value) generating comprehensive assessments of older adults; strengthening health promotion, disease prevention, and self-management; enhancing patient-focused care; strengthening interprofessional care delivery; improving coordination of health and community services. 2) Cognitive Participation- (enrolment/buy-in) tackling new ways of working; attaining role clarity. 3) Collective Action- (enactment/operationalizing) changing team processes; reconfiguring resources. 4) Reflective Monitoring- (appraisal) improving teamwork and collaboration; reconfiguring roles and processes.

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