Conflicting perceptions of the healthprovider domain by new health professionals

David D. Celentano, Stephen E. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The definition of appropriate roles and functions for "New Health Professionals" (NHPs) has been widely debated in the health services literature since the introduction of this new manpower resource in the United States in the mid-1960's. While the emergence of these new practitioners has been well documented from a legal and educational standpoint, little research has focused upon the evolution of these roles in practice, specifically in relation to their position in the domain of health providers. In this report a survey of four types of NHPs documents and compares how each type classifies themselves in relation to the other types of NHPs as well as to the traditional health care providers (physicians and nurses). Multidimensional scaling techniques provide perceptual models of the health provider domain for Health Associates, Physician's Assistants, and Adult and Pediatric Nurse Practitioners; three general perspectives are derived. The principle difference in the solutions are in the conceptions of the Nurse Practitioner role. The findings challenge a major premise found in the literature: the concept of the NHP as a single professional role subsuming all types of NHPs. This premise was validated only for Health Associates and Physician's Assistants, not for Nurse Practitioners. These data provide the needed empirical basis for understanding the emerging role identities of NHPs:.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-652
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine. Part A Medical Psychology and Medical
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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