Interprofessional, Interdisciplinary, or Multidisciplinary?

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    As a longtime researcher in interprofessional collaborative care and deputy editor-in-chief of the Journal of Interprofessional Care, I was dismayed by the imprecise use of language in the article by Colbenson et al.1 The title says "interprofessional," the first sentence of the abstract says "interdisciplinary," and the abstract also uses the word "multidisciplinary." These words have different meanings and are not interchangeable. The first implies collaborative interactions, the second is often used by physicians to imply physicians with different specialties interacting (eg, oncologist and pathologist), and the third simply means that persons from different professions are in the same space per- haps working in parallel, perhaps sequentially. Another term the authors use, "ICU [intensive care unit] teams," may or may not actually be working as teams, but the terms are not defined. The theme "interdisciplinary dynamics" is really about multidisciplinary interactions and is minimally described. If nurses feel devalued and not involved in decision-making, the dynamics are not interprofessional or even interdisciplinary.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)7
    Number of pages1
    JournalAmerican Journal of Critical Care
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Critical Care


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