User involvement in interprofessional team meetings within services for substance use disorders
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2021, 1-14. 10.1177/1455072520978353
Abstract Background: People with substance use disorders (SUD) and concurrent mental health disorders often need prolonged, coordinated health and welfare services. Interprofessional team meetings are designed to tailor services to users’ needs and should be based on interprofessional collaboration involving the user. Aims: To investigate service users’ experiences with interprofessional team meetings and to identify potential barriers to successful user involvement. Methods: Semi-structured interviews with five male service users aged 27–36 years with concurrent substance use and psychiatric disorders, and observations of team meetings involving both users and relevant professionals. Users were interviewed shortly after commencing treatment and after the team meeting. A phenomenographical approach framed the data analysis. Results: Users described the interprofessional team meetings as less than useful, and perceived that lack of a targeted process and of information hindered their collaboration with professionals. Observations revealed that users were given a subordinate role in the meetings, which largely undermined their involvement. Three categories reflecting lack of information as a core obstacle to user involvement emerged from the data material: (i) unclear role responsibilities and unclear professional role functions, (ii) unclear practices regarding rules and routines, and (iii) absence of user knowledge. Conclusions: User involvement in team meetings may be improved by facilitating adequate information, clarifying role expectations, emphasising user knowledge, increasing professionals’ awareness of the importance of collaboration, and by teaching skills that enhance user involvement.