A Knitting Together of Practices: Reflections on the Phenomenology of an Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Healthcare Team Academic Article uri icon


  • The phenomenon of the interdisciplinary healthcare team is relatively new, and the experience of being part of such a team presents particular issues as members knit together their practices to form a cohesive whole. This article presents the results of a study of such a team. The participants were 6 health professionals involved in a rehabilitation program in a small not-for-profit hospital in a regional area. They participated in in-depth interviews to assist an exploration of the experience of belonging to such a team. The rationale for using this team was that it was generally recognised as a professional and cohesive group of people who were particularly successful at setting and achieving team goals. Phenomenological philosophy and methodology underpinned data collection and analysis, particularly that described by Colaizzi, which requires rigorous adherence to several steps in the analysts and returning to each participant with the findings for their final validation. The data analysis revealed themes relating to relationships with each other, with the team, and with the hierarchy. The essence of these experiences emerged as a notion of shared reality within the context of the team. Thus this article concludes that the essence of a successful rehabilitation team lies in its shared reality comprising such concepts as respect, shared wisdom and effective communication.

publication date

  • January 2004