Access to high-quality primary care has been identified as a pressing need for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Adults with IDD live with complex physical and mental health conditions, use health services differently than the general population and continue to face challenges when accessing health services. Interprofessional primary care teams offer comprehensive and coordinated approaches to primary care delivery and are well-positioned to address the needs of adults with IDD and other vulnerable populations. Although interprofessional primary care teams are recommended, there is currently limited understanding of how interprofessional care is delivered and how access to a team of providers improves the health of this population. The aim of this paper is to describe the organizational attributes of interprofessional primary care for adults with IDD within and across models of team-based care in one local health service context.
A multiple case study was conducted with five interprofessional primary care teams in Ontario, Canada. Multiple methods were used to generate data including: a survey, document review, electronic medical record report and qualitative interviews. Pattern matching was the primary analytic approach for the within and across case analysis.
Adults with IDD were found to be a small part of the patient population served and this group was poorly identified in three of five teams. Key organizational attributes that support the delivery of interprofessional primary care for adults with IDD were identified. Two examples of targeted programs of care for this group were also found. Despite the presence of interprofessional health providers in all teams, there were limited organizational processes to engage a wide-range of interprofessional services in the care of this group. There was no consistent reporting of outcomes or processes in place to measure the impact of interprofessional services for this population.
This study provides important insights into the current state of interprofessional primary care for adults with IDD in Ontario and highlight a critical need for further work in the field to develop organizational structures and processes to engage in team-based care and demonstrate the value of the approach for this population.

© 2021. The Author(s).