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29-05-2019 | Uitgave 10/2019 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 10/2019

The effect of team collaboration and continuity of care on health and disability among rehabilitation patients: a longitudinal survey-based study from western Norway

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 10/2019
Merethe Hustoft, Eva Biringer, Sturla Gjesdal, Vegard Pihl Moen, Jörg Aβmus, Øystein Hetlevik
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11136-019-02216-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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The purpose of this study was to investigate how changes in patient-rated health and disability from baseline to after rehabilitation were associated with communication and relationships in rehabilitation teams and patient-rated continuity of care.


Linear models were used to assess the associations between relational coordination [RC] and Nijmegen Continuity Questionnaire-Norwegian version [NCQ-N] with changes in the World Health Association Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 [WHODAS 2.0] and EuroQol EQ-VAS [EQ-VAS]. To express change in WHODAS 2.0 and EQ-VAS, the model was adjusted for WHODAS 2.0 and EQ-VAS baseline scores. Analyses for possible slopes for the various diagnosis groups were performed.


A sample of 701 patients were included in the patient cohort, followed from before rehabilitation to 1 year after a rehabilitation stay involving treatment by 15 different interprofessional teams. The analyses revealed associations between continuity of care and changes in patient-rated health, measured with EQ-VAS (all p values < 0.01). RC communication was associated with more improvement in functioning in neoplasms patient group, compared to improvement of health among included patient groups. The results revealed no associations between NCQ-N and WHODAS 2.0 global score, or between RC in the rehabilitation teams treating the patients and changes in WHODAS 2.0 global score.


The current results revealed that better personal, team and cross-boundary continuity of rehabilitation care was associated with better patient health after rehabilitation at 1-year follow-up. Measures of patient experiences with different types of continuity of care may provide a promising indicator of the quality of rehabilitation care.

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