(HealthDay News) — Patients and their families believe that teams in acute and primary care are more effective when they include nurse practitioners, according to research published online Jan. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Kelley Kilpatrick, Ph.D., R.N., from the Université of Montréal, and colleagues used semi-structured interviews and demographic questionnaires from 49 participants to examine the patient and family perceptions of team effectiveness in care teams that include nurse practitioners. Content analysis was performed and descriptive statistics were generated from the data.

The researchers found that the participants felt that the teams were more effective with a nurse practitioner, and this was important. Participants described processes that were effectively used by teams with a nurse practitioner; these included improved communication, involvement in decision-making, cohesion, coordination of care, solving problems, and focusing on the needs of patients and their families. Participants emphasized the value of interpersonal team dynamics. Participants particularly appreciated a human approach, trust, being open to discussion, listening to patient and family concerns, and respect. When data were examined by specialty, different processes emerged as priorities; the most important processes were communication, trust, and taking the time to provide care.

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“The findings can support patients, clinicians, and decision-makers to determine the processes to focus on to promote effective team functioning, and involve patients and families as team members,” the authors write.

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