Interprofessional collaboration of healthcare professionals in primary healthcare

Posted on September 26, 2022

Interprofessional collaboration is defined by the World Health Organization as two or more healthcare professionals  working together to improve the health of a patient when practiced deliberately through intentional collaboration  improving  quality of care and patient safety (1).The aim of the IPC is to improve communication and teamwork and promote coordination  across the continuum of healthcare (2). IPC points out the strength of the healthcare professional team and uses those strengths to prevent complicated diseases providing care and improving both patient and healthcare worker outcomes (2).

As a fourth year student I worked at Mandisa Clinic where I saw the collaboration of occupational therapy and physiotherapy working collaboratively to provide intervention to spinal cord injury patients, traumatic brain injury or stroke patients to improve independence in activities of daily living. Instances whereby the occupational therapist and physiotherapist were working together to provide intervention to a stroke patient in a home visit ,the physiotherapist focused on teaching the patient exercises to do on daily bases and stretched the patient to remove constraints to movement  and the occupational therapist educated the patient on wheelchair dexterity allowed the patient to propel the wheelchair to the area where the patients performs self care activity and transfer to the bed. The occupational therapist modified the task by making the patient incorporate the affected upper limb during washing of the face. Through washing of the face the patient was able to slightly move his limb to perform self care and improve independence.Each profession has its own role which is incorporated in the collaboration as was observed. Findings suggest that each profession plays an important role  and if there is lack of optimal interprofessional collaboration among the members of the health care teams  this contributes to poor quality of care received by the patients(2). This means that the professions need each other as they are both experts in their own field.

The role of occupational therapy is to restore body functions,modify tasks or the environment and prevent further complications of diseases to enable independence in activities of daily living (3).This is guided by the occupational therapy practice framework for assessment and intervention.The role of physiotherapy to restore the patients’ movement for health and wellbeing using.This is guided by the physiotherapy framework(4) .Both professional find ways to make their treatment uncostly by using what the patient has.The physiotherapy recommends exercises to the patient and encourage the family to assure the patient’s consistency in doing exercises whereas  occupational therapy make use of cost effective materials such as button hooks and wash gloves to facilitate independence in daily activities such self care and dressing. Health care team members work together towards patient centred goals ensuring that the intervention is provided with no or reduced costs (2).




1.        Morgan KH, Barroso CS, Bateman S, Dixson M, Brown KC. Patients’ Experiences of Interprofessional Collaborative Practice in Primary Care: A Scoping Review of the Literature. J Patient Exp. 2020;7(6):1466–75.

2.        Hlongwa P, Rispel LC. Interprofessional collaboration among health professionals in cleft lip and palate treatment and care in the public health sector of South Africa. Hum Resour Health [Internet]. 2021;19(1):1–9. Available from:

3.        Amini D. The OTPF-4: Continuing Our Professional Journey Through Change. 2021;(February):1–8. Available from:

4.        Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. CSP Physiotherapy Framework May 2020. 2020;(May):1–40. Available from: Physiotherapy Framework May 2020.pdf



- Author Pretty Makwakwa
Published by Boitumelo Kube

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