Interprofessional communication in healthcare: An integrative review

Cynthia Foronda, Brent MacWilliams, Erin McArthur

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


The link between miscommunication and poor patient outcomes has been well documented. To understand the current state of knowledge regarding interprofessional communication, an integrative review was performed. The review suggested that nurses and physicians are trained differently and they exhibit differences in communication styles. The distinct frustrations that nurses and physicians expressed with each other were discussed. Egos, lack of confidence, lack of organization and structural hierarchies hindered relationships and communications. Research suggested that training programs with the use of standardized tools and simulation are effective in improving interprofessional communication skills. Recommendations include education beyond communication techniques to address the broader related constructs of patient safety, valuing diversity, team science, and cultural humility. Future directions in education are to add courses in patient safety to the curriculum, use handover tools that are interprofessional in nature, practice in simulation hospitals for training, and use virtual simulation to unite the professions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalNurse Education in Practice
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Communication
  • Cultural humility
  • Interprofessional education
  • Patient safety
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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