To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Organizing integrated care for older persons: strategies in Sweden during the past decade

Helene Berglund (Institute of Health and Care Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, AND, Vårdalinstitutet, The Swedish Institute for Health Sciences, Lund, Sweden)
Staffan Blomberg (Department of Social Work, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, AND, Vårdalinstitutet, The Swedish Institute for Health Sciences, Lund, Sweden)
Anna Dunér (Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, AND, Vårdalinstitutet, The Swedish Institute for Health Sciences, Lund, Sweden)
Karin Kjellgren (Institute of Health and Care Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, AND, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Article publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse ways of organizing integrated care for older persons in Sweden during the past decade.

Design/methodology/approach

The data consist of 62 cases of development work, described in official reports. A meta-analysis of cases was performed, including content analysis of each case. A theoretical framework comprising different forms of integration (co-ordination, contracting, co-operation and collaboration) was applied.

Findings

Co-operation was common and collaboration, including multiprofessional teamwork, was rare in the cases. Contracting can be questioned as being a form of integration, and the introduction of consumer choice models appeared problematic in inter-organization integration. Goals stated in the cases concerned steering and designing care, rather than outcome specifications for older persons. Explicit goals to improve integration in itself could imply that the organizations adapt to strong normative expectations in society. Trends over the decade comprised development of local health care systems, introduction of consumer choice models and contracting out.

Research limitations/implications

Most cases were projects, but others comprised evaluations of regular organization of integrated care. These evaluations were often written normatively, but constituted the conditions for practice and were important study contributions.

Practical implications

Guiding clinical practice to be aware of importance of setting follow-up goals.

Social implications

Awareness of the risk that special funds may impede sustainable strategies development.

Originality/value

A theoretical framework of forms of integration was applied to several different strategies, which had been carried out mostly in practice. The study contributes to understanding of how different strategies have been developed and applied to organize integrated care, and highlights some relationships between integration theory and practice.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The work reported here was supported by grants from Vårdalinstitutet, The Swedish Institute for Health Sciences.

Citation

Berglund, H., Blomberg, S., Dunér, A. and Kjellgren, K. (2015), "Organizing integrated care for older persons: strategies in Sweden during the past decade", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 128-151. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-04-2013-0082

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited