Original Research

Healthcare workers’ perceptions on collaborative capacity at a Referral Hospital in Malawi

Tulipoka N. Soko, Diana L. Jere, Lynda L. Wilson
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 26 | a1561 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v26i0.1561 | © 2021 Tulipoka N. Soko, Diana L. Jere, Lynda L. Wilson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 November 2020 | Published: 30 July 2021

About the author(s)

Tulipoka N. Soko, Department of Postgraduate Studies, Kamuzu College of Nursing, Blantyre, Malawi
Diana L. Jere, Department of Mental Health, Faculty of Nursing, Kamuzu College of Nursing, Blantyre, Malawi
Lynda L. Wilson, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America, United States

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Background: Lack of collaborative capacity results in provision of fragmented health services that do not meet the needs of patients. Collaborative capacity refers to the extent to which providers have influence over other healthcare workers’ decision-making, and can be assessed by measuring perceptions of task interdependence, quality of interaction and collaborative influence. However, each healthcare worker may present differing perceptions that can influence their ability to collaborate effectively during provision of care. No studies that specifically assessed healthcare workers’ perception of collaborative capacity in Malawi were identified.

Aim: To assess the perceptions of healthcare workers regarding collaborative capacity in Malawi.

Setting: The study was conducted at a tertiary public hospital in Blantyre city, Malawi.

Methods: The study employed a quantitative cross-sectional correlational design. The instrument used was a Care Coordination survey that had been used previously in similar studies in the United States of America. Descriptive statistics as well as univariate and multivariate analysis were computed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) program version 21.0 (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA).

Results: A total of 384 healthcare workers participated in the study, with a response rate of 100%. There were differences in perceptions of collaborative capacity based on the cadre of the respondent (p < 0.005). Medical staff reported higher mean scores on quality of interaction (2.94) and collaborative influence (2.65), whereas technical support staff reported the lowest mean scores across all three measures of collaborative capacity ( 2.4).

Conclusion: Differences in perceptions about collaborative capacity suggest the need for interventions to enhance interprofessional collaboration.

Contribution: The study will inform strategies to promote interprofessional collaboration.


collaborative capacity; healthcare workers; interprofessional team; perception; quality of care; patient-centred care


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