Referral to the national network of integrated care: the nurses' perception

Susana Alexandra Fonseca-Teixeira, Pedro Parreira, Lisete Mónico, Anabela Salgueiro-Oliveira, João Costa Amado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



OBJECTIVE: to understand the referral to the National Network of Integrated Continuous Care, from the perspective of nurses who work in this care context. METHOD: an exploratory and descriptive study with a qualitative approach, with data collection between July and September 2019 through interviews with 12 nurses who work in Integrated Continuous Care Teams, in Northern Portugal. The content analysis technique was used to analyze the statements. RESULTS: the professionals revealed that there are difficulties and constraints in the process of referring users to the National Network of Integrated Continuous Care. The process is bureaucratic, complex, and time-consuming, conditioning user accessibility to timely care. CONCLUSION: the referral process is a very bureaucratic and time-consuming procedure, which not only conditions and delays users' access to the National Network of Integrated Continuous Care network, contributing to the worsening of the clinical status of some patients. The number of professionals is insufficient, inducing the demand for services through urgency. The focus on primary care should seek to improve inequalities in access, compete for more equitable and accessible care, generating more quality in health care.
Translated title of the contributionReferenciação para a rede nacional de cuidados integrados: a percepção dos enfermeiros
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3372
JournalRevista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2020


  • Home care services
  • Quality of health care
  • Long-term care
  • Patient care team
  • Nursing
  • Portugal


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