PURPOSE. The study aims to explore the meaning of interdisciplinary collaboration within the context of health care.
ORGANIZING FRAMEWORK. Rodgers' Evolutionary View of Concept Analysis was employed to identify attributes, antecedents, and consequences of interdisciplinary collaboration.
METHODS. Utilizing an inductive approach, a systematic review of the literature was undertaken in August 2007 to clarify the current use of interdisciplinary collaboration in health care.
FINDINGS. Interdisciplinary collaboration is commonly described using the terms problem-focused process, sharing, and working together. The elements that must be in place before interdisciplinary collaboration can be successful are interprofessional education, role awareness, interpersonal relationship skills, deliberate action, and support. Consequences of interdisciplinary collaboration are beneficial for the patient, the organization, and the healthcare provider.
CONCLUSIONS. A comprehensive definition of interdisciplinary collaboration within the context of health care is presented as an outcome of this analysis. It is recommended that further inquiry in this area focus on the development of valid measures to accurately evaluate interdisciplinary collaboration in health care.