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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32805

Title: Social Capital and Relational Coordination in Outpatient Clinics
Authors: Lee, Charlotte
Advisor: Doran, Diane
Department: Nursing Science
Keywords: Ambulatory care
Relational coordination
Social capital
Interpersonal relationship
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2012
Abstract: Coordination is a vital component in health care provision and teamwork. The need for better coordination is particularly prominent in outpatient setting where patients assume the primary responsibility to follow-up on their own health care, especially when treatment is complex and lengthy in duration. Relational coordination represents a type of informal coordination process reinforced by communication and supportive relationships. This concept has been associated with enhanced interprofessional team performance, including patient care outcomes. This study aimed to examine the theoretical underpinnings of relational coordination in the outpatient setting using social capital theory. It was hypothesized that social capital, resources embedded within network of relationships, would predict relational coordination. Additionally, social capital was hypothesized to be predicted by team tenure; and relational coordination was hypothesized to be predicted by formal coordination mechanisms. A non-experimental, cross-sectional survey design was used to examine the relationship between social capital and relational coordination. Participants (N=342) were physicians and nurses recruited from outpatient clinics in two University affiliated hospitals. Study surveys were sent to 501 nurses and 187 physicians with follow-up reminders sent at three, five and seven weeks after the initial distribution of surveys. The overall response rate was 49.71%. Study variables were measured using previously validated instruments with acceptable levels of reliability and validity. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used for hypothesis testing. Final analysis revealed good fit of data to the hypothesized model (Chi-square=383.38, df=177, p<0.001; CFI=0.966; RMSEA=0.060; SRMR=0.0316). SEM revealed that social capital predicted both factors of relational coordination [communication (β=0.70, p<0.001); supportive relationship (β=0.81, p<0.001)], and team tenure predicted social capital (β=0.13, p<0.05). In addition, the association between team tenure and relational coordination (β=0.09, p<0.05) was found to be partially mediated by social capital. Findings of this study suggested that characteristics within relational ties are predictive of informal coordination. Administrators may facilitate teamwork through team building initiatives that foster these relational qualities, such as trust and shared language. Future research can further investigate the association between social capital and relational coordination in other health care settings, as well, in larger teams involving health care professionals in addition to physicians and nurses.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32805
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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