Interdisciplinary geriatric and palliative care team narratives: Collaboration practices and barriers

Joy Goldsmith, Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles, Dariela Rodriguez, Sandra Sanchez-Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Despite the development and implementation of team training models in geriatrics and palliative care, little attention has been paid to the nature and process of teamwork. Geriatrics and palliative care in the clinical setting offer an interdisciplinary approach structured to meet the comprehensive needs of a patient and his or her family. Fellowship members of an interdisciplinary geriatric and palliative care team participated in semistructured interviews. Team members represented social work, chaplaincy, psychology, nursing, and medicine. A functional narrative analysis revealed four themes: voice of the lifeworld, caregiver teamwork, alone on a team, and storying disciplinary communication. The content-ordering function of narratives revealed a divergence in team members conceptualization of teamwork and team effectiveness, and group ordering of narratives documented the collaborative nature of teams. The study findings demonstrate the potential for narratives as a pedagogical tool in team training, highlighting the benefits of reflective practice for improving teamwork and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-104
Number of pages12
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Communication
  • Death and dying
  • End-of-life issues
  • Families
  • Geriatrics
  • Narrative analysis
  • Older people
  • Palliative care
  • Teaching/learning strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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