Integration among health care professionals, health care systems, and public health organizations to improve population health has recently emerged as a policy priority for federal health and public health agencies. A large gap exists, however, between current policy and program implementation efforts and the existing evidence for integration interventions. The challenges of research into integration effectiveness include lack of a standardized definition of integration and lack of a taxonomy to allow grouping of similar interventions that helps to facilitate an understanding of their effectiveness. We address these challenges and advance research into integration. Drawing from prior evidence syntheses of integration interventions, we provide a recommended definition and a classification scheme for describing and grouping like interventions. Our work can benefit researchers engaged in generating evidence for integration interventions and policy makers; it will help to ensure that the integration policy promoted by health and public health agencies is supported by science.
July 2015 Open Access Peer Reviewed
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