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Reading: Coordination in networks for improved mental health service


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Research & theory

Coordination in networks for improved mental health service


Johan Hansson ,

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John Øvretveit,

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John Øvretveit, Ph.D., Professor of Health Innovation Implementation and Evaluation, Director of Research, Medical Management Centre (MMC), Karolinska Institute, Sweden
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Marie Askerstam,

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Christina Gustafsson,

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Mats Brommels

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Mats Brommels, MD, Ph.D., Professor in Healthcare Administration, Director of Medical Management Centre (MMC), Karolinska Institute, Sweden

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Background: Well-organised clinical cooperation between health and social services has been difficult to achieve in Sweden as in other countries.

Purpose: This paper presents an empirical study of a mental health coordination network in one area in Stockholm. The aim was to describe the development and nature of coordination within a mental health and social care consortium and to assess the impact on care processes and client outcomes.

Method: Data was gathered through interviews with coordina­tors from three rehabilitation units. The interviews focused on coordination activities aimed at supporting the clients’ needs and investigated how the coordinators acted according to the consortium's holistic approach. Data on The Camberwell Assess­ment of Need (CAN-S) showing clients’ satisfaction was used to assess on set of outcomes.

Findings: The findings revealed different coordination activities and factors both helping and hindering the network coordination activities. One factor helping was the history of local and personal informal cooperation and shared responsibilities evident. Unclear roles and routines hindered cooperation

Practical value: The contribution is an empirical example and a model for organisations establishing structures for network coordination. One lesson for current policy about integrated health care is to adapt and implement ”pair coordinators” where full structural integration is not possible. Another lesson, based on the idea of patient quality by coordinated care, is specific to adapt the work of the local psychiatric addictive team – an independent special team in the psychiatric outpatient care serving psychotic clients with complex addictive problems.

How to Cite: Hansson J, Øvretveit J, Askerstam M, Gustafsson C, Brommels M. Coordination in networks for improved mental health service. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2010;10(3):None. DOI:
Published on 25 Aug 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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