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Individuals’ with heart failure experiences of collaboration with the health care team : an interpretive description Werry, Terina


I designed this study to explore the experience of collaboration from the perspective of people with heart failure (HF) attending a heart function clinic (HFC). There is a paucity of literature explicating the experience of collaboration from the perspective of the individual with HF, although the literature provides strong support for the benefits of collaboration for people with HF. My intent was to increase the knowledge and understanding of the experience of collaboration for individuals with HF to inform nursing practice, education, and research. The qualitative research approach, interpretive description, as described by Thorne, Reimer Kirkham, and Macdonald Emes (1997) was utilized as my research method, as it was appropriate to answering my research question, "how do individuals with HF experience collaboration with the health care team in the setting of an outpatient HFC?" Data were collected utilizing in-depth semi-structured interviews, with a total of 7 participants ranging in age from 52 to 81 years. All of the participants had been attending a HFC for at least 2 years, with a mean attendance of 3.4 years. Inductive data analysis was ongoing throughout the data collection process. The findings informed and guided the data collection process and allowed the construction of the interpretive description. The narratives revealed five dominant themes describing the participants' experiences of collaboration with the health care team. These were mutual goals, working together, communication with the health care team, being accountable, and sharing power. Antecedents to the experience of collaboration included non-intimidating communication style and trust in the health care team. Barriers to the experience of collaboration identified were lack of time, communication styles that do not support collaboration and inequity of power sharing. The findings of this study may contribute to the theoretical understanding of the concept of collaboration, and has provided insight into the experience of collaboration as experienced by individuals with HF who attend a HFC. Thus this contribution to the existing knowledge about the experience of collaboration from the individual with HF may provide additional insight into and expand the understanding of the experience and thereby enhance the care of similar individuals.

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